Pancreatic involvement in small cell lung cancer
Few data are available concerning the incidence, clinical picture, and prognosis for pancreatic metastases of small cell lung carcinoma. In this paper, the related papers have been reviewed in the English literature. Although pancreatic metastases are generally asymptomatic, they can rarely produce clinical symptoms or functional abnormalities. The widespread use of multi-detector computerised tomography (CT) in contemporary medical practice has led to increased detection of pancreatic metastases in oncology patients. Tissue diagnosis is imperative because radiological techniques alone are incapable of differentiating them from primary pancreatic tumours. Pancreatic metastasis occurs in the relative end stage of small cell lung cancer. The main complications of these lesions, although rare, are acute pancreatitis and obstructive jaundice. Early chemotherapy can provide a survival benefit even in patients with mild acute pancreatitis or extrahepatic biliary obstruction.
Key words: Lung neoplasms; carcinoma; small cell; neoplasm metastasis; pancreas