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May 1979

Metastasis-Induced Acute Pancreatitis in Small Cell Bronchogenic Carcinoma

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Hematology and Oncology, The George Washington University Medical Center (Dr Yeung); the Division of Medical Oncology, Vincent Lombardi Cancer Center, Georgetown University Medical School (Drs Haidak and Brown), Washington, DC; and the Department of Internal Medicine, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk (Dr Anderson).

Arch Intern Med. 1979;139(5):552-554. doi:10.1001/archinte.1979.03630420042014

Despite frequent metastatic involvement of the pancreas at postmortem examination in patients with small cell lung cancer, clinically observed pancreatitis due to metastatic pancreatic tumor rarely has been reported. This communication describes three cases of clinical acute pancreatitis occurring in a consecutive series of 40 patients with oat cell lung cancer. This complication may appear either as the initial manifestation of the neoplasm or during a recrudescent phase of the malignant growth. The diagnosis should be suspected in the presence of the clinical, laboratory, and radiologic features of acute pancreatitis in patients with known small cell carcinoma of the lung, especially if there is evidence of progression of the neoplastic disease elsewhere and no response to conservative medical management. Aggressive treatment with polychemotherapy can produce rapid clinical improvement and useful prolongation of survival.

(Arch Intern Med 139:552-554, 1979)