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J Gastrointest Surg. 2006 Jun;10(6):829-36.

Pancreatoblastoma in an adult: case report and review of the literature.

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  • 1University of California, San Francisco, Comprehensive Cancer Center, San Francisco, California 94115, USA.


A 50-year-old man presented with progressive gastrointestinal symptoms. An abdominal computed tomography scan demonstrated a 12 x 12-cm pancreatic mass involving the greater curvature of the stomach and multiple hypervascular hepatic metastases. An initial fine needle aspiration of the pancreatic mass was nondiagnostic, and a subsequent fine needle aspiration of a liver mass was read as metastatic acinar cell carcinoma. The patient underwent a palliative resection for tumor-associated pain and gastrointestinal hemorrhage that revealed a large pancreatic tumor invading through the full thickness of the colon at the splenic flexure and adherent to the posterior gastric wall. The pathology from the distal pancreatectomy, splenectomy, partial gastrectomy, partial colectomy, and cholecystectomy unexpectedly supported a diagnosis of pancreatoblastoma with evidence for squamoid corpuscles as well as areas of acinar formation. Despite multiple chemotherapy regimens, the patient's disease continued to progress in the liver and the lungs. During the course of his therapy, the patient's serum alpha-fetoprotein levels and serum lipase levels rose concurrently, suggesting tumor-associated production of both of these factors. Seventeen months after the diagnosis of metastatic pancreatoblastoma, the patient died from his disease. Our case illustrates the fact that pancreatoblastomas are extremely difficult to diagnosis preoperatively. In addition, our case demonstrates that pancreatoblastomas can be alpha-fetoprotein producing, hormone producing, and enzyme producing when it occurs in adults.

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