Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide-secreting tumor (VIPoma) with liver metastases
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- Case, C.C., Wirfel, K. & Vassilopoulou-Sellin, R. Med Oncol (2002) 19: 181. doi:10.1385/MO:19:3:181
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Neuroendocrine tumors often manifest an excess production of hormones that create severe metabolic abnormalities resulting in significant patient morbidity, independent of the tumor burden itself. VIPomas are rare neuroendocrine tumors arising from the pancreas and are associated with secretory diarrhea and electrolyte disturbances. We present a patient with VIPoma and hepatic metastases who had greater than 10 loose stools a day for 4 yr since diagnosis, despite debulking surgery, multiple antidiarrheal medications, large doses of octreotide, and targeted radioisotope injections. The patient required several hospitalizations for treatment of dehydration and electrolyte disturbances, despite receiving daily intravenous fluids at home. Hepatic artery embolization (HAE) immediately stopped the patient’s diarrhea and provided a return to normal formed stools without any other symptom-support measures. One year after HAE, the patient remains asymptomatic and has returned to a productive life. HAE can be a very effective and durable treatment modality for patients with metastatic VIPomas (or other neuroendocrine tumors) and who are clinically symptomatic from the effects of hormone hypersecretion.