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World J Surg Oncol. 2012 Feb 8;10:32. doi: 10.1186/1477-7819-10-32.

Primary small cell carcinoma of the pancreas: rare type of pancreatic cancer and review of the literatures.

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  • 1Pancreatic cancer group, Department of General Surgery, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200032, China.



Primary small cell carcinoma of the pancreas (SCCP) is a rare malignancy with an extremely poor prognosis which accounts for 1 to 1.4 percent of all pancreatic malignancies.


We present the case of a 62-year-old man with a half-month history of upper abdominal discomfort who was diagnosed with SCC of the pancreatic tail. A Chest X-ray showed no evidence of primary lung tumor. The diagnosis of a SCCP was confirmed by post-surgery pathology and immunohistology. In our review of the published reports of SCCP, we only found a few cases reported in the literatures. The diagnosis of SCCP needs the post-surgery pathology and immunohistology and the prognosis of SCCP is extremely poor. There was a significant increase in median survival, from 1 to 6 months, in treated patients compared to patients treated only by symptomatic management. Chemotherapy was the most common treatment and the combination of cisplatin/etoposide was most frequently prescribed.


The accurate diagnosis of (SCCP) is necessary for determining prognosis and deciding appropriate therapy.

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