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June 1960

Functioning Islet-Cell Carcinoma of the Pancreas with Metastases and Prolonged Survival

Author Affiliations

Vancouver, B.C., Canada; Rochester, Minn.
Department of Medicine and Department of Surgery, University of British Columbia, Clinical Investigation Unit, Shaughnessy Hospital (Drs. McIntosh and Robertson). Section of Surgery (Dr. Walters) and Section of Medicine (Dr. Randall), Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation. The Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minn., is a part of the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota.

AMA Arch Surg. 1960;80(6):1021-1028. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1960.01290230139019

Of the many functioning islet-cell tumors of the pancreas that have been reported, approximately 10% have metastasized to lymph nodes, liver, or elsewhere. In some of these cases the metastases have produced insulin,1-3 whereas in others the metastatic processes apparently have been inert.4 In most instances death has occurred within a short time after the diagnosis of frank islet-cell carcinoma was made. In at least two instances the patient survived for a considerable time. Holman's5 patient lived 16 years from the onset of symptoms, and Brunschwig's6 patient lived 47 months after an operation which revealed a pancreatic tumor and metastasis to the liver.

Our report concerns a man with proved islet-cell carcinoma of the pancreas with metastasis to the liver and peritoneum who has had symptoms suggestive of hypoglycemia for approximately 25 years, and from whom an islet-cell tumor was first removed 15 years ago. Metastasis

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