Diagnosis and treatment of pancreatic metastases in 22 patients: a retrospective study

World J Surg Oncol. 2014 Sep 25:12:299. doi: 10.1186/1477-7819-12-299.


Background: Pancreatic metastases (PMs) are rare and lack of guidelines for diagnosis and treatments .The aim of this study is to explore the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of pancreatic metastases.

Methods: Twenty-two patients with pancreatic metastases who had been hospitalized at the First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University from October 1980 to October 2012 were included in the present retrospective study. Seven patients had gastric cancer, five had colon cancer, two each had lung and liver cancer, and one each had bladder cancer, gallbladder cancer, breast cancer, nasopharyngeal cancer, renal cell carcinoma, and carcinoid.

Results: No specific syndrome or imageological change was found for the pancreatic metastases. The most common symptoms were abdominal pain and jaundice. Hypo-echoic lesions with well-defined margins were found on ultrasonic examinations, and low-density lesions with heterogeneous enhancement were identified in CT images. Nineteen of the 22 received treatment. Three of the 8 patients (34.1%) that had undergone operation experienced complications, but all patients recovered after conventional treatment. Follow-up studies were performed for 17 patients (77.3%), and the median survival time from the diagnosis of pancreatic metastases was 13.2 months (range, 2 to 68 months). Of the five patients who underwent radical resection, one was lost to follow-up, one died at fifteen months postoperation, and the other three are still alive and free from disease (disease-free survival ranging from five to thirty-three months from the diagnosis of the pancreatic metastases).

Conclusion: Pancreatic metastases are rare lesions with no specific symptoms. Radical resection should be performed if possible; however, aggressive treatment should be performed for unresectable pancreatic metastases.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatectomy*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / mortality
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / therapy
  • Pancreaticoduodenectomy*
  • Positron-Emission Tomography*
  • Radiotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*
  • Treatment Outcome