Clinico-pathological characteristics and clinical outcome of different histological types of pancreatic cancer in a large Middle European series

Michael Stotz, Florian Eisner, Joanna Szkandera, Gudrun Absenger, Peter Kornprat, Carolin Lackner, Hellmut Samonigg, Armin Gerger, Martin Pichler
Journal of Clinical Pathology 2013, 66 (9): 753-7

AIMS: Pancreatic cancer (PC) is a heterogeneous disease in terms of histological and molecular subtypes. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prognostic impact of different histological subtypes on cancer-specific survival (CSS) in a large single-centre Middle European cohort.

METHODS: We retrospectively studied the records of 400 consecutive PC patients who were treated from 2004 to 2010 at a single tertiary academic centre. The association of histological subtypes and parameters such as tumour stage, tumour grade, levels of tumour markers carcinoembryonic antigen and CA19-9 at diagnosis, was studied. CSS was calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method, and the influence of each parameter on CSS was assessed with univariate and multivariable Cox proportional models.

RESULTS: The survival time was significantly shorter in the ductal adenocarcinoma and acinar histological subtypes compared to neuroendocrine differentiation (p<0.001). No survival difference was observed between ductal adenocarcinomas and patients with a histological variant of ductal adenocarcinoma, namely, mucinous non-cystic adenocarcinoma (p=0.7). In multivariable analysis, ductal adenocarcinoma (HR=3.1, CI 1.6 to 6.1, p=0.001) and acinar carcinoma (HR=3.2, CI 1.3 to 8.5, p=0.016) were identified as independent predictors for CSS.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that the main histological subtype is an independent predictor of CSS in patients with PC. Thus, our data underline the importance of routine assessment of histological type in PC for individual risk assessment. However, no clinical rationale for the subdivision of ductal adenocarcinoma and mucinous non-cystic adenocarcinoma can be supported by our study.

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