Endocrine tumors of the pancreas arise from pancreatic and duodenal neuroendocrine cells.
To review clinical features, diagnosis and treatment of endocrine tumors of pancreas, as well as our experience at the Instituto Nacional de la Nutrición "Salvador Zubirán" (INNSZ).
Endocrine tumors of pancreas are slow growing tumors. The most frequent tumors are insulinoma, gastrinoma and non-functioning tumors. Clinical picture of functioning tumors is determined by the action of the secreting hormone, and the diagnosis is established once high levels of the tumor secretin peptide are demonstrated. In order to localize the tumor and to search for metastasis, several imaging studies have been used. In general, image studies have demonstrated poor sensitivity in finding the primary lesion. Recently, dynamic studies have shown their ability to regionalize the peptide increase. Endoscopic and intraoperative ultrasound have shown promising results. Surgical resection is the only curative treatment, resection of hepatic metastasis can even improve survival. In the INNSZ, 38 patients with endocrine tumors of the pancreas have received initial treatment in a 32-year period. The most common neoplasia is the insulinoma, followed by non-functioning tumors and gastrinoma. Most insulinomas were benign, where as the malignancy rate of non-functioning.
Endocrine tumors of the pancreas are rare lesions, with a variety of clinical pictures related to the hormone produced. Localizing studies are generally poor. Favorable outcome meaning cure of benign lesions or long survival despite the presence of malignancy occur in most patients.