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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 97

of 'Surgical resection of sporadic pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors'

Is glucagonoma of the pancreas a curable disease?
Chu QD, Al-kasspooles MF, Smith JL, Nava HR, Douglass HO Jr, Driscoll D, Gibbs JF
Int J Pancreatol. 2001;29(3):155.
BACKGROUND: Glucagonomas are rare neuroendocrine tumors of the pancreas. Because of its rarity, its natural history is not well understood.
AIM: We evaluated the natural history of glucagonomas treated at a tertiary care cancer center.
METHODS: A retrospective analysis of 12 patients during 1970 to 2000 was performed. Six patients (50%) had a tumor located in the head of the pancreas.
RESULTS: Abdominal pain (83%) and weight loss (75%) were the most common symptoms. Median tumor size was 6 cm (range 0.04-10). Seven patients (58%) had liver metastases. Five patients (42%) underwent curative resection. Overall median survival was 66 mo, and 5-yr overall survival was 66%. Five-yr overall survival was 83% for patients who had resection versus 50% for the non-resected patients (p = 0.04). Patients who were disease-free had a complete resection of the primary tumor and no liver involvement.
CONCLUSIONS: Glucagonomas generally present with liver metastases at the time of diagnosis. Cure is only possible if the disease is localized and completely resected.
Department of Surgical Oncology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, State University of New York at Buffalo, 14263-0001, USA.