Information sought on mucinous adenocarcinoma or pseudomyxoma peritonei

Kenneth R. Blank, MD
Last Modified: November 1, 2001

Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts,"
I was unable to find any information on your pages regarding an uncommon form of cancer known as "Mucinous Adenocarcinoma" or "Pseudomyxoma Peritonei." Do you have any information on these cancers? Or, can you refer me to other pages that might?  
Thank you for your time and response.

Kenneth R. Blank, MD, OncoLink Editorial Assistant, responds:

Dear SB,
Thank you for your question.

Carcinomas are tumors derived from epithelial tissue. Adenocarcinomas are carcinomas derived from glandular tissue. Mucinous adenocarcinomas are adenocarcinomas which produce mucus, and may arise from several primary sites including the colon and ovaries.

Pseudomyxoma peritonei is a rare clinical entity with much confusion about its etiology, clinical manifestations, treatment, and prognosis. Pseudomyxoma peritonei is defined by extensive accumulation of mucinous adenocarcinoma at specific locations within the abdomen and pelvis. Most commonly the origin of the mucinous adenocarcinoma is from a ovarian or appendiceal tumor. Some authors reserve the term pseudomyxoma peritonei for intraabdominal spread of appendiceal tumors only, but others apply this term regardless of the pathogenesis.