What is Pancreatic VIPoma or VIPoma of the Pancreas?VIPoma of the pancreas is a rare type of glandular tumor that can be detected from the marked clinical symptoms of watery diarrhea, low blood potassium levels, and metabolic acidosis. The size of the tumor is usually greater than 3cm in diameter and most cases originate from the body and tail of the pancreas. Pancreatic VIPomas are malignant (cancerous) tumors and tend to spread to distant parts of the body from their site of origin. The most common sites for the metastasis of the tumor are the liver, Lungs, lymph nodes, and kidneys.
Disease CausesThere is no well-known cause, however, certain hereditary and genetic mutations are considered responsible for the development of pancreatic VIPoma.
Signs and SymptomsThe patient may suffer from the following signs and symptoms. These are
- Abdominal discomfort or pain in the abdomen
- Diarrhea (loose watery stools)
- Rapid heartbeat
- Muscle weakness
- Bloated abdomen (fullness and tightness of the abdomen due to pain)
DiagnosisThe following diagnostic techniques and procedures can be used to make a diagnosis. These are
- Complete blood count ( CBC)
- Blood coagulation profile (for example partial thromboplastin time PTT, international normalized ratio INR)
- Serum electrolyte levels
- Liver function tests (LFTs)
- Abdominal USG, CT scan, and MRI
- Immunohistochemical staining
- Serum serotonin levels
- Serum 5-HIAA
TreatmentThe selection of suitable treatment depends upon multiple factors like the size, number, and location of the tumor. Other factors are the overall performance of the pancreas, presence or absence of the spread of the tumor to the liver, nearby lymph nodes and other distant parts of the body, presence or absence of Liver cirrhosis, its extent, and risk involved in the case of surgery due to extent of the cirrhosis. On behalf of the above-mentioned factors there are the following treatment options;
- Resection; surgical removal of the tumor along with some healthy tissues from the surroundings of the tumor to stop the spread of cancer in the early stage of cancer.
- Radiofrequency Ablation; is a non-surgical technique to kill and stop the spread of cancer cells in cases where surgery is not a suitable option.
- Targeted immunotherapy