Nonfunctioning Islet Cell Carcinoma of the Pancreas: Case Report

Pearl, Jonathan; Elster, Eric; Golocovsky, Mario
October 2002
American Surgeon;Oct2002, Vol. 68 Issue 10, p886
Academic Journal
Islet cell carcinomas have an incidence of 5 per million per year; 50 per cent of these are nonfunctioning islet cell tumors. The presenting symptoms mimic pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. The CT finding of a pancreatic head mass that spares the main duct may distinguish between the two. The treatment of choice is resection. Most nonfunctioning islet cell tumors are not discovered until metastases are present. However, favorable survival rates have been reported in locally advanced tumors that have undergone resection. Liver metastases carry an unfavorable prognosis. Five-year survival over 60 per cent has been reported. Node-negative patients have a median survival of more than 10 years, and node-positive patients who have undergone resection have a median survival of 75 months. Streptozotocin and 5-fluorouracil are used postoperatively in patients with advanced disease. Considering the favorable survival with resection aggressive surgical treatment is mandated in cases of nonfunctioning islet cell tumors.


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