Renal Cell Carcinoma Metastatic to the Pancreas: Results of Surgical Management

Taylor A. Sohn, Charles J. Yeo, John L. Cameron, Attila Nakeeb, Keith D. Lillemoe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

152 Scopus citations


Metastatic tumors to the pancreas are uncommon. Renal cell carcinoma is one of the few tumors known to metastasize to the pancreas. The purpose of the current report is to evaluate the surgical management and long-term outcome of patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma. A retrospective review of patients undergoing pancreatic resection for renal cell carcinomas metastatic to the pancreas or periampullary region between April 1989 and May 1999, inclusive, was performed. Time from initial presentation, other metastatic sites, surgical outcomes, and long-term survival were evaluated. During the 10-year time period, 10 patients unerwent pancreatic resection for renal cell carcinoma metastases. Of those, six underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy and two underwent distal pancreatectomy, whereas the two remaining patients underwent total pancreatectomy for extensive tumor involvement throughout the entire gland. The mean time from nephrectomy for resection of the primary tumor for reoperation for periampullary recurrence was 9.8 years (median 8.5 years). The range was 0 to 28 years, with one patient presenting with a synchronous metastasis. The mean age of the patients was 61.2 years with 60% of patients being male and 90% being white. Pathologic findings included histologically negative lymph nodes and negative surgical margins in all patients. One patient had tumor involving the retroperitoneal soft tissue, but final margins were negative. The mean live patient follow-up was 30 months (median = 15 months), with eight patients remaining alive. The Kaplan-Meier actuarial 5-year survival was 75%, with the longest survivor still alive 117 months following resection. The patient with retroperitoneal soft tissue involvement died 4 months after resection. The pancreas is an uncommon site of metastasis for renal cell carcinoma, typically occuring years after treatment of the primary tumor. When the metastatic focus is isolated and the tumor can be resected in its entirety, patients can experience excellent 5-year survival rates. The current report suggests that pancreatic metastases from renal cell carcinoma should be managed aggressively with complete resection when possible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)346-351
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Metastatic
  • Pancreas
  • Periampullary
  • Renal cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Gastroenterology


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