Molecular characterization of pancreatic neoplasms

Chanjuan Shi, Jason A. Daniels, Ralph H. Hruban

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Molecular analyses of neoplasms of the pancreas, coupled with careful histopathologic examination has helped refine the classification of pancreatic neoplasia. A number of molecularly and histologically distinct subtypes of pancreatic neoplasms have been identified and, importantly, many of these subtypes have important clinical implications. For example, most of the solid-pseudopapillary neoplasms harbor mutations in the β-catenin gene (CTNNB1), and, as a result, most solid-pseudopapillary neoplasms have an abnormal nuclear pattern of labeling with antibodies to the β-catenin protein. Clinically, patients with a solid-pseudopapillary neoplasm have a much better prognosis than do patients with ductal adenocarcinoma of the pancreas. Therefore, the immunolabeling of a pancreatic biopsy for the β-catenin protein can help identify patients with low-risk neoplasms. It is clear that the time is now ripe for a new modern classification of neoplasms of the pancreas; a classification that does not abandon gross and microscopic pathology, but which instead integrates molecular findings with gross, microscopic, and clinical findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-195
Number of pages11
JournalAdvances in anatomic pathology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2008


  • Genetics
  • Intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm
  • Medullary carcinoma
  • Oncogene
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Solid-pseudopapillary neoplasm
  • Tumor suppressor gene

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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