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Clinico-pathological characteristics and clinical outcome of different histological types of pancreatic cancer in a large Middle European series
  1. Michael Stotz1,2,
  2. Florian Eisner1,
  3. Joanna Szkandera1,2,
  4. Gudrun Absenger1,2,
  5. Peter Kornprat3,
  6. Carolin Lackner4,
  7. Hellmut Samonigg1,
  8. Armin Gerger1,2,
  9. Martin Pichler1
  1. 1Division of Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria
  2. 2Research Unit Genetic Epidemiology and Pharmacogenetics, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria
  3. 3Division of General Surgery, Department of Surgery, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria
  4. 4Institute of Pathology, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria
  1. Correspondence to Dr Martin Pichler, Division of Clinical Oncology, Medical University of Graz (MUG), Auenbruggerplatz 15, Graz A-8036, Austria; martin.pichler{at}


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.

  • Pancreatic Cancer
  • Surgical Pathology
  • Neuroendocrine Tumours

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