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12.06.2018 | Review | Ausgabe 3/2018

Clinical & Experimental Metastasis 3/2018

Isolated pancreatic metastases from renal cell carcinoma: an outcome of a special metastatic pathway or of specific tumor cell selection?

Clinical & Experimental Metastasis > Ausgabe 3/2018
Franz Sellner


Isolated pancreatic metastases (isPM) are a rare metastasizing pattern in the natural history of renal cell cancer. Their clinical hallmark is that they are confined to a single organ, the pancreas, while all other organs are unaffected for a long time. Almost all workers in the field suggested that mechanical tumor cell propagation to the pancreas may be the mechanism underlying this metastasizing pattern. In 2006 our group, by contrast, proposed an alternative mechanism, i.e. a special affinity of the tumor cells for the pancreas. In the present study an attempt was made to shed more light on the settlement of isPM by reviewing recent literature data. 666 observations of isPM reported in the literature were reviewed. The analyses showed that local lymphatic spread does not play a major role because the lymphatic system is, in general, rarely involved in isPM. This also applies to a local venous spread, because the site of pancreatic metastases is independent of the side affected by the primary renal cancer. But the results are compatible with a systemic metastatic pathway. That metastases in other organs, which would be expected given a systemic spread, are absent can plausibly be explained by a seed and soil mechanism: only the pancreas offers the tumor cell emboli an environment which is conducive to the growth of clinically manifest metastases, while settlement of metastatic tumor cells is prevented in all other organs.

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