Insulinoma historical perspective

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Case #1

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Amandeep Singh M.D.[2], Parminder Dhingra, M.D. [3]


In 1869, pancreatic islet cells were discovered by Paul Langerhans. The first adenoma of islets was discovered by Nicholls in 1902. Insulin was first discovered by Banting and Best in 1922. Association between hyperinsulinism and functional islet tumor was described in 1926 by Wilder. In 1927, the insulinoma was first described in Mayo clinic which was dissected in 1929 in Toronto. In 1929, the first surgical cure was performed by Roscoe Graham. In 1935, Whipple suggested a diagnostic criterion for the diagnosis of insulinoma called as Whipple's triad.

Historical Perspective


  • Pancreatic islet cells were first described by Paul Langerhans in 1869 when he was still a medical student.
  • In 1902, the first adenoma of pancreatic islets was discovered by Nicholls.[1]
  • Insulin was first discovered by Frederick Banting and Charles Best in 1922 from a dog’s pancreas.
  • The association between hyperinsulinism and functional islet tumor was made in 1926 by Wilder-et-al after a surgery on a person who had hypoglycemia and found an islet cell cancer with liver metastasis.[2]
  • In 1927, William J Mayo was the first to discover the association between hyperinsulinism and a functional pancreatic islet cell tumor. In 1927 the insulinoma was first described in Mayo clinic which was dissected in 1929 in Toronto.[1]
  • In 1929, the first surgical cure was performed by Roscoe Graham.[3]

Landmark Events in the Development of Treatment Strategies

  • William J Mayo did the first operation for insulinoma in 1927 and found it to be unresectable. Two years later, Roscoe Graham successfully completed the first surgical cure of an islet cell tumor.
  • In 1935, Whipple's triad was developed by Virginia Kneeland Frantz and Allen O. Whipple to diagnose insulinoma.

Famous Cases


  1. 1.0 1.1 Stamatakos M, Safioleas C, Tsaknaki S, Safioleas P, Iannescu R, Safioleas M (2009). "Insulinoma: a rare neuroendocrine pancreatic tumor". Chirurgia (Bucur). 104 (6): 669–73. PMID 20187464.
  2. Wilder, Russell M.; Allan, Frank N.; Power, M. H.; Robertson, H. E. (1927). "CARCINOMA OF THE ISLANDS OF THE PANCREAS". Journal of the American Medical Association. 89 (5): 348. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690050014007. ISSN 0002-9955.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Whipple AO, Frantz VK (1935). "ADENOMA OF ISLET CELLS WITH HYPERINSULINISM: A REVIEW". Ann. Surg. 101 (6): 1299–335. PMC 1390871. PMID 17856569.