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Exp Mol Pathol. 2012 Dec;93(3):345-9. doi: 10.1016/j.yexmp.2012.07.005. Epub 2012 Aug 10.

Invasive mucinous cystic neoplasms of the pancreas.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and Dartmouth Medical School, Lebanon, NH 03756, USA.


Mucinous cystic neoplasms (MCN) and intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMN) of the pancreas both appear to have been included and intermixed in some early reports of pancreatic cystic neoplasms. Recognition of their distinguishing features evolved during the last decade of the twentieth century. One legacy of the early period is the statement that mucinous cystic neoplasms sometimes progress to invasive colloid carcinoma. It is now recognized that colloid carcinomas characteristically arise from IPMN. We set out to see if we could find MCN that invaded as colloid carcinomas and found no examples in MCN collected in two academic medical centers. We then sought to expand the number of MCN by evaluating series from additional centers. This yielded no examples of colloid carcinomas associated with 291 MCN, however one MCN exhibited a minor component with colloid (non-cystic mucinous) growth pattern within the fibrous wall of the neoplasm. The expression of CDX2, a marker of intestinal differentiation that is found in colloid carcinomas was examined by immunostaining in the original MCN series and in the MCN with the intratumoral colloid growth pattern. Focal expression of CDX2 was found in 22 of 43 MCN including the MCN that exhibited the intratumoral colloid growth pattern. Overall, the data suggest that MCN rarely, if ever, invade as colloid carcinoma but the expression of CDX2 by some MCN and the observation of intratumoral colloid growth pattern in one MCN seems to leave open the possibility that MCN might rarely invade as colloid carcinoma. The majority of malignant MCN invade with a tubular (ductal) pattern, and rarely the invasive component was anaplastic.

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