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Metastasis of Rectal Adenocarcinoma to the Pancreas. Two Case Reports and a Review of the Literature

Context The vast majority of pancreatic tumors are of pancreatic origin. Nonetheless, a variety of extrapancreatic tumors can involve the pancreas and may manifest with different clinicopathological characteristics. Case report We report on two patients with a history of rectal cancer who were referred to our department with a pancreatic mass: one patient 2 years after a low anterior resection (TNM stage: pT3 pN0 pM0), the other patient 2.5 years after an abdominoperineal resection (TNM stage: pT3 pN1 pM0). In the first case, computed tomography showed a cystic mass in the pancreas but fine-needle biopsy followed by cytopathological analysis revealed only necrotic tissue. In the other patient, magnetic resonance tomography showed a hypodense structure in the pancreatic body/tail. Suspecting pancreatic tumors, distal pancreatectomies were carried out. Subsequent histological examination revealed metastases of rectal cancer in both cases. Conclusion In patients with a history of a malignant tumor, a newly diagnosed mass in the pancreas - although rare - should raise the suspicion of metastatic disease. Surgical resection may be an option for a curative approach which can be offered to otherwise healthy patients if there is no evidence of other metastases.


Markus Wolfgang B?chler, Jeannine Bachmann, Christoph W Michalski, J?rg Kleeff, Helmut Friess, Frank Bergmann

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