Pancreatic Pathology Online

Metastatic Tumours of the Pancreas

Dr Sampurna Roy MD        


Secondary tumours are uncommon in the pancreas and include metastases from the breast, lung, skin and kidney.

Most tumours metastatic to the pancreas involve the organ by direct extension either from an adjacent organ or peripancreatic lymph nodes.

Blood-borne metastases are sometimes found at autopsy.

In some cases, metastatic tumour has been seen to involve epithelium of the pancreatic ducts.

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.

Histologically, the most common carcinoma is adenocarcinoma, followed by large cell carcinoma, small cell carcinoma and neuroendocrine carcinoma.

Diagram of a metastatic tumour in pancreas.

The most common non-epithelial tumor is leukemia, followed by malignant lymphoma.

Undifferentiated carcinoma and neuroendocrine carcinoma may be found in cases of extrahepatic bile duct or urinary bladder carcinoma with pancreatic metastasis.

Microscopic infiltration patterns of tumour cells show an interlobular and intralobular infiltration.

Fat necrosis is commonly seen as an associated pathological finding.

Secondary tumours of the pancreas can be found in approximately one out of six to seven autopsy cases of malignant tumors.

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.  


Further reading:

Renal cell carcinoma metastatic to the pancreas: a single-institution series and review of the literature.

Analysis of prognostic factors in metastatic tumors of the pancreas: a single-center experience and review of the literature.

Metastases to the pancreas and peripancreatic lymph nodes from carcinoma of the right side of the colon: CT findings in 12 patients.

Metastatic cancer involving pancreatic duct epithelium and its mimicry of primary pancreatic cancer.





Dr Sampurna Roy  MD

Consultant  Histopathologist (Kolkata - India)






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