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Case report
Rare case of metastatic small cell carcinoma of the nasopharynx to the pancreas
  1. Jonathan Teinor1,
  2. Lara Groshek1,2 and
  3. Jin He1
  1. 1Department of Surgery, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  2. 2The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jin He; jhe11{at}


We present a 49-year-old woman with a history of an unresectable nasopharyngeal small cell carcinoma (SCC) who was treated with concurrent chemotherapy and radiation therapy. On surveillance positron emission tomography scan 14 months after diagnosis, her primary tumour appeared stable, but there was fludeoxyglucose uptake in the pancreas. A CT scan demonstrated a 3.4×2.1 cm ill-defined soft tissue mass at the tail of the pancreas, which was concerning for adenocarcinoma. However, further workup including endoscopic ultrasound and fine needle aspiration confirmed the mass to be a metastasis from her nasopharyngeal SCC. Because there have been no previously reported cases of a metastatic small cell carcinoma to the pancreas, there are no data about prognosis. Thus treatment options were tailored to the patient. Distal pancreatectomy, splenectomy and cholecystectomy were performed. The patient recovered from surgery without complication.

  • cancer intervention
  • pancreas and biliary tract
  • head and neck cancer
  • pancreatic cancer
  • surgical oncology

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  • Contributors JT conceived the project and prepared the initial draft of the manuscript with input from all authors. JT and LG acquired the patient data and follow up patient information. JH and LG provided critical revisions for the final version of the manuscript. JH supervised this project.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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