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J Surg Oncol. 2003 Jul;83(3):161-6; discussion 166.

Pancreatic resection for metastatic tumors to the pancreas.

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Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Padua, Padua, Italy.



The incidence of metastases to the pancreas is very low. The benefit of resection of pancreatic metastasis is poorly defined. In this review we evaluated the outcome of patients undergoing pancreatic resection for metastatic tumors to the pancreas.


Eight patients underwent pancreatic resection for metastatic tumor from December 1980 to June 2001. The primary cancer was colon carcinoma (n = 4), renal cell cancer (n = 2), duodenal leiomyosarcoma (n = 1), and malignant fibrous histiocytoma (n = 1). The median interval between primary treatment and detection of pancreatic metastases was 36 months. In two cases pancreatic metastases were synchronous with the primary tumor.


Four patients underwent pancreatoduodenectomy, two distal pancreatectomy, one total pancreatectomy, and one median pancreatectomy. Associated resection of extrapancreatic lesions was performed in four patients, including two left hepatectomy and two left colectomy. There was no postoperative mortality, but two patients had a pancreatic and a biliary fistula, respectively. Survival averaged 23 months (range 14-42 months): four patients died for metastatic disease from 14 to 42 months after operation, while four patients are alive and well 14 to 31 months after surgery.


Pancreatic resection for metastatic disease to the pancreas should be considered even in selected patients with limited extrapancreatic disease. Long-term survival or good palliation may be achieved.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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