Condition 101 About Glucagonoma

What is the definition of Glucagonoma?

Glucagonoma is a very rare tumor of the islet cells of the pancreas, which leads to an excess of the hormone glucagon in the blood.

What are the alternative names for Glucagonoma?

MEN I - glucagonoma

What are the causes for Glucagonoma?

Glucagonoma is usually cancerous (malignant). The cancer tends to spread and get worse.

This cancer affects the islet cells of the pancreas. As a result, the islet cells produce too much of the hormone glucagon.

The cause is unknown. Genetic factors play a role in some cases. A family history of the syndrome multiple endocrine neoplasia type I (MEN I) is a risk factor.

What are the symptoms for Glucagonoma?

Symptoms of glucagonoma may include any of the following:

  • Glucose intolerance (body has problem breaking down sugars)
  • High blood sugar (hyperglycemia)
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive thirst (due to high blood sugar)
  • Frequent urination (due to high blood sugar)
  • Increased appetite
  • Inflamed mouth and tongue
  • Nighttime (nocturnal) urination
  • Skin rash on face, abdomen, buttocks, or feet that comes and goes, and moves around
  • Weight loss

In most cases, the cancer has already spread to the liver when it is diagnosed.

What are the current treatments for Glucagonoma?

Surgery to remove the tumor is usually recommended. The tumor does not usually respond to chemotherapy.

What are the support groups for Glucagonoma?

You can ease the stress of illness by joining a cancer support group. Sharing with others who have common experiences and problems can help you not feel alone.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Glucagonoma?

Approximately 60% of these tumors are cancerous. It is common for this cancer to spread to the liver. Only about 20% of people can be cured with surgery.

If the tumor is only in the pancreas and surgery to remove it is successful, people have a 5-year survival rate of 85%.

What are the possible complications for Glucagonoma?

The cancer can spread to the liver. High blood sugar level can cause problems with metabolism and tissue damage.

When should I contact a medical professional for Glucagonoma?

Call your provider if you notice symptoms of glucagonoma.



National Cancer Institute website. Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (islet cell tumors) treatment (PDQ) - health professional version. Updated February 8, 2018. Accessed November 12, 2018.

Schneider DF, Mazeh H, Lubner SJ, Jaume JC, Chen H. Cancer of the endocrine system. In: Niederhuber JE, Armitage JO, Doroshow JH, Kastan MB, Tepper JE, eds. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 71.

Vella A. Gastrointestinal hormones and gut endocrine tumors. In: Melmed S, Polonsky KS, Larsen PR, Kronenberg HM, eds. Williams Textbook of Endocrinology. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 38.

Latest Advances On Glucagonoma

  • Condition: Benign Pancreatic Neoplasms
  • Journal: Surgery today
  • Treatment Used: Robotic versus Laparoscopic Distal Resection and Enucleation
  • Number of Patients: 75
  • Published —
The study compared the outcomes of robotic-assisted versus laparoscopic distal pancreatic resection and enucleation for potentially benign pancreatic neoplasms.
  • Condition: Autoimmune Progesterone Dermatitis
  • Journal: The Journal of dermatology
  • Treatment Used: Danazol
  • Number of Patients: 0
  • Published —
The study researched the outcomes of using danazol to treat autoimmune progesterone dermatitis presenting as necrotic migratory erythema.

Clinical Trials For Glucagonoma

Clinical Trial
  • Status: Recruiting
  • Phase: Phase 1
  • Intervention Type: Device
  • Participants: 10
  • Start Date: January 1, 2018
Phase I Feasibility Trial To Study The Safety Of Sealing Resected Pancreatic Surfaces After Partial Distal Pancreatectomy Using Laser Tissue Welding
Clinical Trial
  • Status: Enrolling by invitation
  • Participants: 600
  • Start Date: March 2014
A Multi-center, Registration Study for Gastroenteral-Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors in Taiwan