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Ann Surg. Dec 1976; 184(6): 705–708.
PMCID: PMC1345411

Problems in differentiating between pancreatic lymphoma and anaplastic carcinoma and their management.


A group of 6 patients with malignancies involving the pancreas is presented, with a range of diagnosis from primary reticulum cell sarcoma to probable anaplastic carcinoma. Even with adequate biopsy and autopsy material, it may be difficult to provide a definitive tissue diagnosis in these patients. Although this entire spectrum of tumors is uncommon, it is important to try to establish a diagnosis whenever possible. Biopsy of the tumor should be performed, even from the pancreas itself, if necessary, particularly when the initial presentation of the disease is unusual or if the pattern of metastasis is different from that usually seen with carcinoma of the pancreas. It is suggested that a therapeutic trial of appropriate radiotherapy and chemotherapy be instituted in patients of this type even if a diagnosis of lymphoma is not firmly established. The possibility exists of survival of some of these patients for periods of one year or more as a result of successive therapy.

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Selected References

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