Metastasis to the pancreas is rare, and the benefit of resection for pancreatic metastasis is poorly defined. The aim of this study was to review our experiences of the operative management of metastasis to the pancreas.
Between 1995 and 2009, 11 patients (8 men and 3 women; median age, 54 years) were admitted to our institution with a metachronously metastatic lesion to the pancreas and later underwent pancreatic resection. The clinical features and outcomes of treatments were examined.
The primary cancers were renal cell carcinoma (RCC, n = 7), carcinoid tumor (n = 2), rectal cancer and leiomyosarcoma. Six patients underwent distal pancreatectosplenectomy, 3 pancreaticoduodenectomy and 2 patients underwent enucleation for small RCC. One patient died of metastatic RCC at 53 months after surgery and ten patients remain alive; four patients without disease at 7 to 69 months postoperatively, and the other six with disease at 11 to 68 months. Median postoperative survival of all patients was 34 months.
Patients with a low surgical risk should be considered for pancreatic metastasectomy if curative resection is possible. Primary cancer type, which is associated with survival benefit, would be the best candidate for surgical resection of metastases to the pancreas.