Successful Long-Term Medical Management of Unresectable Insulinomas

Andrew J. Spiro, Mohamed K.M. Shakir, Thanh D. Hoang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In this paper, we present two patients with unresectable insulinomas and a literature review. Patient 1: A 58-year-old woman was diagnosed at age 42, with an insulinoma in the pancreatic tail and hepatic metastasis. She underwent distal pancreatectomy, splenectomy, hepatic wedge resection, and chemoembolization, with resolution of her symptoms. By age 48, her symptoms returned, with new hepatic metastasis. She started long-acting octreotide, with subsequent resolution of her symptoms. She has since had an unremarkable clinical course. Patient 2: A 48-year-old female was diagnosed at age 37. Numerous imaging modalities and two exploratory surgeries did not localize a mass. A distal pancreatectomy did not resolve her symptoms. She tried several medications before her symptoms were finally controlled with low-dose prednisone. She has continued prednisone and diazoxide treatment for the past decade, which controls her symptoms, along with diet modification. In conclusion, while prednisone is not standard therapy, it can control symptoms in patients with unresectable insu-linoma. Providers should be aware of available and emerging medical options. Patients with unresectable insulinomas will likely have better long-term survival rates than those quoted in historical literature. Additional studies are needed to elucidate survival rate and the long-term efficacy of medical therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)948-954
Number of pages7
JournalCase Reports in Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Insulinoma
  • Medical management
  • Metastatic disease


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