Pancreatic metastases from renal cell carcinoma: the state of the art

World J Gastroenterol. 2011 Nov 21;17(43):4747-56. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v17.i43.4747.


Pancreatic metastases are rare, with a reported incidence varying from 1.6% to 11% in autopsy studies of patients with advanced malignancy. In clinical series, the frequency of pancreatic metastases ranges from 2% to 5% of all pancreatic malignant tumors. However, the pancreas is an elective site for metastases from carcinoma of the kidney and this peculiarity has been reported by several studies. The epidemiology, clinical presentation, and treatment of pancreatic metastases from renal cell carcinoma are known from single-institution case reports and literature reviews. There is currently very limited experience with the surgical resection of isolated pancreatic metastasis, and the role of surgery in the management of these patients has not been clearly defined. In fact, for many years pancreatic resections were associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality, and metastatic disease to the pancreas was considered to be a terminal-stage condition. More recently, a significant reduction in the operative risk following major pancreatic surgery has been demonstrated, thus extending the indication for these operations to patients with metastatic disease.

Keywords: Pancreatic metastases; Pancreatic surgery; Prognostic factors; Radiological findings; Renal cell carcinoma; Therapeutic approach.

Publication types

  • Editorial

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / pathology*
  • Drug Therapy / methods
  • Endosonography
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / surgery
  • Positron-Emission Tomography
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiotherapy / methods
  • Survival Rate
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Treatment Outcome