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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2013 Nov;137(11):1619-26. doi: 10.5858/arpa.2012-0418-OA.

The expression of PTEN is associated with improved prognosis in patients with ampullary adenocarcinoma after pancreaticoduodenectomy.

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From the Departments of Pathology (Drs S. Shroff, Rashid, and Huamin Wang), Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology (Drs Overman, R. T. Shroff, Hua Wang, Wolff, and Abbruzzese), and Surgical Oncology (Drs Chatterjee, Katz, Lee, and Fleming). The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston.



Phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) is one of the most frequently inactivated tumor suppressor genes in sporadic cancers. Somatic mutations of PTEN occur in many tumors including those of the gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary tracts. Loss of PTEN expression is associated with poor prognosis in patients with metastatic colonic adenocarcinoma, gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma, gastric adenocarcinoma, and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.


To study the expression of PTEN and its significance in ampullary adenocarcinoma (AA).


We constructed tissue microarrays by using archival tissue from 92 patients (55 males, 37 females; median age, 63 years; age range, 37 to 87 years) with previously untreated AA who underwent pancreaticoduodenectomy at our institution. PTEN expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry, scored semiquantitatively (based on staining intensity and percentage positive tumor cells), and correlated with clinicopathologic features and survival.


Of 92 cases, 23 (25.0%) were PTEN negative. Loss of PTEN expression correlated with lymph node metastasis (P = .004), advanced American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) stage (P = .02), and higher frequency of recurrence (P = .03). Patients with PTEN-negative tumors had shorter disease-free survival (DFS, mean: 89.0 ± 20.8 months) and overall survival (OS, mean: 93.1 ± 19.1 months) than those with PTEN-positive tumors (DFS, mean: 161.4 ± 11.7 months, P = .01; OS, mean: 175.4 ± 11.0 months, P = .001). In multivariate analyses, PTEN expression was a prognostic factor for both DFS and OS, independent of AJCC stage, lymph node status, pathologic tumor (pT) stage, and differentiation.


Loss of PTEN expression is associated with poor DFS and OS in patients with AA after curative surgery. PTEN expression may be used as a prognostic marker for patients with resected AA.

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