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Solid pseudopapillary neoplasms of the pancreas in childhood and adolescence-an analysis of the German Registry for Rare Pediatric Tumors (STEP).

UNLABELLED: Solid pseudopapillary neoplasms (SPNs) are the most common entity among pediatric pancreatic tumors. Still, these are rare tumors with an annual incidence of 0.1-0.2/1,000,000, and little is known about their optimal treatment. This analysis aimed to increase knowledge about the occurrence and treatment strategies of SPN in childhood. Data regarding diagnostics, treatment, and outcome of children aged 0-18 years with SPN recorded in the German Registry for Rare Pediatric Tumors (STEP) were analyzed. Thirty-eight patients were identified with a median age of 14.5 years at diagnosis (range: 8-18) and a female preponderance (81.6%). The most frequent location of the tumor was the pancreatic tail. In histopathological and immunohistochemical examination, pseudopapillary, solid, and cystic lesions as well as expression of beta-catenin, progesterone receptors, and cyclin D1 were the most common findings. All patients underwent surgical resection. Most patients underwent open resection, predominantly tail resection for tumors in the tail region and pylorus-preserving pancreaticoduodenectomy for tumors in the head region. The main postoperative sequela was exogenous pancreatic insufficiency (23.7%), especially with SPN in the pancreatic head. No recurrence occurred during follow-up, although two patients underwent resection with microscopic residue.

CONCLUSION: SPN of the pancreas in childhood are low-grade malignancies with usually favorable treatment outcomes. However, therapy can lead to relevant long-term sequelae. To prevent recurrence, complete surgical resection is recommended, sparing as much healthy pancreatic tissue as possible. Interdisciplinary collaboration between specialists is essential to optimize treatment. Molecular genetic analysis of these tumors could improve understanding of their genesis.

WHAT IS KNOWN: • Solid pseudopapillary neoplasms (SPNs) of the pancreas are very rare tumors in childhood. • Little is known about tumorigenesis, and there are no specific guidelines for treatment and follow-up in pediatric patients.

WHAT IS NEW: • Characteristics, treatment, and outcome were comprehensively assessed in a large cohort of pediatric patients with SPN. • We propose recommendations for diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up of children with SPN, based on our analysis and considering published experience.

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