Von Hippel-Lindau disease (VHL) is an inherited cancer syndrome. Patients are at risk for developing pancreatic cysts and tumors. These tumors are more aggressive in some people than in others. To learn more about this disease, its genetic cause and how best to treat it, this study will 1) identify patients with VHL who have pancreatic lesions; 2) examine the characteristics of the lesions and how fast they grow; 3) study how well imaging tests can reveal lesion characteristics that will help in diagnosis; and 4) perform genetic studies using blood and, when possible, tissue samples.
Patients 12 years of age and older with VHL involving the pancreas may be eligible for this study. Participants will undergo some or all of the following tests and procedures:
- Interviews with a cancer doctor, cancer nurses, and a surgeon (if surgery is recommended).
- Computed tomography (CT) scan of the abdomen, chest, or pelvis. This test uses x-rays to produce images of body tissues and organs in small sections.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the abdomen. This test uses radio waves and a strong magnetic field to produce images of body tissues and organs.
- Ultrasound of the abdomen. This test uses sound waves to create images body tissues and organs.
- Blood tests for routine laboratory chemistries, for tests specific to the pancreas, and for genetic studies
- 24-hour urine studies
After the tests are completed, the doctor will discuss the results with the patient. Patients with a pancreatic tumor that requires surgery will be offered the option of an operation to remove as much tumor as possible. Patients with lesions that are not appropriate for surgery will be asked to return to NIH for scans and x-rays every year to monitor growth of the lesions. If surgery should become advisable in the future, the option will be discussed at that time. Patients with pancreatic cysts will be asked to return to NIH every 2 years for scans and x-rays to monitor their condition.