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07-06-2016 | Pancreatic cancer | Article

Surgical and molecular pathology of pancreatic neoplasms

Diagnostic Pathology

Authors: Wenzel M. Hackeng, Ralph H. Hruban, G. Johan A. Offerhaus, Lodewijk A. A. Brosens

Publisher: BioMed Central



Histologic characteristics have proven to be very useful for classifying different types of tumors of the pancreas. As a result, the major tumor types in the pancreas have long been classified based on their microscopic appearance.

Main body

Recent advances in whole exome sequencing, gene expression profiling, and knowledge of tumorigenic pathways have deepened our understanding of the underlying biology of pancreatic neoplasia. These advances have not only confirmed the traditional histologic classification system, but also opened new doors to early diagnosis and targeted treatment.


This review discusses the histopathology, genetic and epigenetic alterations and potential treatment targets of the five major malignant pancreatic tumors - pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor, solid-pseudopapillary neoplasm, acinar cell carcinoma and pancreatoblastoma.

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