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Ann Diagn Pathol. 2007 Feb;11(1):3-9.

Intestinal type adenocarcinoma: a previously unrecognized histologic variant of ductal carcinoma of the pancreas.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, Shreveport, LA 71130, USA.


Adenocarcinomas with intestinal differentiation have been described in a wide variety of anatomical sites. To our knowledge, however, ductal adenocarcinomas with intestinal phenotype have not been described in the pancreas. We report here 11 ductal carcinomas of the pancreas that were morphologically similar to colonic adenocarcinomas. These pancreatic carcinomas of intestinal type represented 10% of 110 consecutively removed ductal carcinomas of the pancreas. All intestinal type carcinomas expressed cytokeratin 7, carcinoembryonic antigen, CDX2, and MUC2. The pattern of reactivity of cytokeratin 7 and carcinoembryonic antigen was diffuse, whereas that of mucin 2 staining and CDX2 nuclear labeling was focal and confined predominantly to goblet cells and less frequently to columnar cells. Six carcinomas contained collections of endocrine cells admixed with the columnar and goblet cells. Five carcinomas were associated with high-grade pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia of intestinal type. Six patients were female and 5 were male. Their ages ranged from 52 to 76 years (mean age, 61 years). The clinical presentation did not differ from that of the conventional ductal carcinomas. All carcinomas originated in the head of the pancreas, and 5 had metastasized to the regional lymph nodes at the time of surgical resection. Only 1 patient survived 5 years. Three patients are disease free from 2.8 to 8.9 months after surgery. Six patients died as a direct result of the carcinomas, and 1 was lost to follow-up. More studies are needed to determine the biologic behavior of this distinctive histologic variant of ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas.

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