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Dig Dis Sci. 2002 Oct;47(10):2254-61.

Ductal and acinar differentiation in pancreatic endocrine tumors.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Tokyo Metropolitan Komagome Hospital, Japan.


Rare pancreatic endocrine tumors consisting of both exocrine and endocrine components have been reported sporadically. We investigated the ductal and acinar differentiation in pancreatic endocrine tumors. In immunohistochemical studies of 28 pancreatic endocrine tumors, staining with anti-carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) or CA19-9 antibody indicated ductal differentiation, while staining with anti-amylase or anti-trypsin antibody indicated acinar differentiation. K-ras gene mutations and p53 gene alterations also were studied. Ten tumors were immunoreactive for CEA or CA19-9. Five tumors diffusely immunoreactive for CEA or CA19-9, in addition to endocrine markers, were diagnosed as duct-endocrine cell tumors of the pancreas. Two tumors diffusely immunoreactive for CEA or CA19-9 and also for pancreaticogut hormones as well as endocrine markers were diagnosed as duct-acinarendocrine cell tumors. These tumors showed uniform histologic features and synchronous ductal, acinar, and endocrine differentiation, distinct from the coexisting different cellular populations seen in collision tumors. All tumors were malignant. These duct-endocrine cell tumors or duct-acinar- endocrine cell tumors of the pancreas may be derived from a stem cell that retains the capability of expressing either an exocrine or endocrine phenotype. Only one K-ras gene mutation and no p53 gene alterations were detected in these tumors, which suggests that they constitute an entity with a different origin than ductal carcinomas.

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