Cutaneous metastasis of pancreatic adenocarcinoma after kidney transplant: a case report and review of the literature

Exp Clin Transplant. 2010 Dec;8(4):273-6.


Objectives: Pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal human cancers. Each year in the United States, about 42 470 individuals are diagnosed with this condition, and 35 240 die, despite advances in imaging, medical treatment, and surgical intervention. Often, 80% to 90% of pancreatic cancers are diagnosed at the locally advanced or metastatic stage. However, cutaneous metastases originating from pancreatic cancer are rare. If cutaneous metastases do indeed occur, it is often near the umbilicus, known as the Sister Mary Joseph's nodule. Nonumblical cutaneous metastases are rare, with only several cases reported, but none regarding lesions after organ transplant. We introduce the first reported case of a cutaneous metastatic lesion of pancreatic adenocarcinoma after the transplant of an organ. We also performed a literature review and an analysis of reported cases of nonumblical cutaneous metastases of pancreatic adenocarcinoma.

Materials and methods: We performed a MEDLINE and PubMed search of reported nonumblical cutaneous metastases of pancreatic adenocarcinoma since 1980 after a literature review and analysis.

Results: Our case involved a 76-year-old woman who developed cutaneous pancreatic adenocarcinoma metastases in her surgical wound 2 years after a bilateral kidney transplant. This is the first case of pancreatic adenocarcinoma cutaneous metastases after an organ transplant.

Conclusions: The death rate from cancer has increased as the population has aged. This also holds true for transplant recipients. Some believe that cancer will soon surpass cardiovascular disease as the major cause of mortality after transplant. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to appropriately screen patients with age-appropriate evidence-based examinations. Additionally, those patients with suspicious presentations should be judiciously evaluated to discover a cure for cancer as quickly as possible.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Adenocarcinoma / drug therapy
  • Adenocarcinoma / secondary*
  • Aged
  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic / therapeutic use
  • Biopsy
  • Deoxycytidine / analogs & derivatives
  • Deoxycytidine / therapeutic use
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Gemcitabine
  • Humans
  • Kidney Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Skin Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Skin Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Failure


  • Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic
  • Deoxycytidine
  • Gemcitabine