The role of surgery in renal cell carcinoma with pancreatic metastasis

Biomed J. Mar-Apr 2015;38(2):173-6. doi: 10.4103/2319-4170.137771.


Metastasis of renal cell carcinoma to the pancreas is uncommon and, in most cases, presents as a single pancreatic mass that shows a more favorable prognosis than primary pancreatic tumors. We examined patients with renal cell carcinoma metastatic to the pancreas, and discuss the clinical findings, treatment administered, and final outcomes. The present study is a retrospective analysis of renal cell carcinoma patients with pancreatic metastasis. Pancreatic tumor specimens were obtained by surgical excision, surgical biopsy, fine-needle biopsy, or endoscopic ultrasound biopsy. The surgical approaches included distal splenopancreatectomy, total pancreatectomy, or distal pancreatectomy. The physician determined the postoperative treatment regimen with interferon-α or targeted therapy on the basis of patient's performance. A total of six patients with median age of 50 years were included in the study. The median time from the primary nephrectomy to the development of pancreatic metastasis was 16 years. In the biopsy-only group, the mean stable disease period was 16.5 months. In the patients treated with surgery combined with interferon-α or targeted therapy, the mean stable disease period was 29.5 months. The patients treated with repeat mastectomy showed a mean stable disease period of 33.3 months. Aggressive surgical management is more effective than observation or immunotherapy. Recent advances in the design of targeted therapies may provide alternative treatment strategies. Combination therapy may play an important role in the future. Considering patient compliance and cost-effectiveness, resection of pancreatic metastasis is currently the first choice of treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms / pathology
  • Kidney Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nephrectomy* / methods
  • Pancreatectomy / methods
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / secondary
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome