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Pancreas. 2011 Jan;40(1):30-6. doi: 10.1097/MPA.0b013e3181e6e3e5.

Primary pancreatic lymphoma: a clinical quandary of diagnosis and treatment.

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  • 1Department of General Surgery, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, People's Republic of China.



To investigate the clinical feature and treatment strategy of primary pancreatic lymphoma.


Thirty-nine cases of primary pancreatic lymphoma reported in China were reviewed retrospectively with their clinical characters, treatment, and outcome, as well as a literature review of worldwide reports.


The major clinical presentations included discomfort or pain in the upper abdomen and jaundice without specificity. Only 2 cases were identified correctly by computed tomography, and 5 cases obtained a positive finding in a biopsy before operation. Thirty-two patients accepted operation; 13 pancreatoduodenectomy and 6 distal pancreatectomy were performed. Thirty-one patients accepted postoperative chemotherapy. Until now, 26 patients are still alive at a range of 3 to 72 months; 5 patients died at 5 to 24 months after operation. Literature review revealed 85 additional cases of pancreatic lymphoma in English reports. Their diagnosis and treatment methods varied.


Primary pancreatic lymphoma was misdiagnosed as pancreatic adenocarcinoma frequently. Fine needle aspiration biopsy is the most valuable method in preoperative diagnosis. The cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone scheme was still the most commonly used regimen of chemotherapy. The value of surgery and radiotherapy remains controversial; an operation combining chemotherapy seems to be an appropriate method of treatment for a patient in whom malignancy cannot be ruled out.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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