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Cellular Classification of Pancreatic Cancer

    Pancreatic cancer includes the following carcinomas:


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    • Duct cell carcinoma (90% of all cases).
    • Acinar cell carcinoma.
    • Papillary mucinous carcinoma.
    • Signet ring carcinoma.
    • Adenosquamous carcinoma.
    • Undifferentiated carcinoma.
    • Mucinous carcinoma.
    • Giant cell carcinoma.
    • Mixed type (ductal-endocrine or acinar-endocrine).
    • Small cell carcinoma.
    • Cystadenocarcinoma (serous and mucinous types).
    • Unclassified.
    • Pancreatoblastoma.
    • Papillary-cystic neoplasm (Frantz tumor). (This tumor has lower malignant potential and may be cured with surgery alone.)[1,2]
    • Invasive adenocarcinoma associated with cystic mucinous neoplasm or intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm.

    Borderline Malignancies

    • Mucinous cystic tumor with dysplasia.
    • Intraductal papillary mucinous tumor with dysplasia.[3]
    • Pseudopapillary solid tumor.


    1. Sanchez JA, Newman KD, Eichelberger MR, et al.: The papillary-cystic neoplasm of the pancreas. An increasingly recognized clinicopathologic entity. Arch Surg 125 (11): 1502-5, 1990.
    2. Warshaw AL, Compton CC, Lewandrowski K, et al.: Cystic tumors of the pancreas. New clinical, radiologic, and pathologic observations in 67 patients. Ann Surg 212 (4): 432-43; discussion 444-5, 1990.
    3. Sohn TA, Yeo CJ, Cameron JL, et al.: Intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms of the pancreas: an increasingly recognized clinicopathologic entity. Ann Surg 234 (3): 313-21; discussion 321-2, 2001.

      This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

      WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

      Last Updated: February 25, 2014
      This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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