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Hum Pathol. 2001 Aug;32(8):834-41.

Intraductal papillary components in invasive ductal carcinoma of the pancreas are associated with long-term survival of patients.

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Clinical Laboratory Division, National Cancer Center Hospital, Tokyo, Japan.


Most patients with pancreatic ductal carcinoma have a poor prognosis. However, in certain cases, 5-year survival can be achieved after surgical resection. Analysis of the pathologic findings associated with good survival rates will assist in identifying the optimum treatment. The clinicopathologic features of 67 patients who underwent surgical resection of ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas between 1990 and 1996 were reviewed and correlated with survival rates. There were 42 men and 25 women, with a mean age of 62.1 years (range, 44 to 82 years). The mean greatest diameter of the tumor was 4.3 cm (range, 1.5 to 11 cm). Nineteen patients (29.4%) survived more than 3 years, and 9 (13.2%) survived more than 5 years after surgical resection. The intraductal papillary component (IDPC) of the carcinoma was the main focus of the pathologic observations. IDPC was defined as intraductal papillary proliferative lesions seen in the tumor nodule with proliferative cells consistent with carcinomatous cellular atypia. IDPC was clearly present (++) in 24 patients and vaguely present (+) in 9 patients. Using the Mantel-Cox test, a statistically significant correlation was found between the presence of IDPC (either + or ++) and postoperative patient survival (P =.002). IDPC is a morphologic feature associated with longer patient survival and should be taken into consideration in assessing the pathway of tumor progression.

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