Adenosquamous carcinoma of the pancreas: Molecular characterization of 23 patients along with a literature review


Erkut Borazanci, Sherri Z Millis, Ron Korn, Haiyong Han, Clifford J Whatcott, Zoran Gatalica, Michael T Barrett, Derek Cridebring, Daniel D Von Hoff


Adenosquamous carcinoma of the pancreas (ASCP) is a rare entity. Like adenocarcinoma of the pancreas, overall survival is poor. Characteristics of ASCP include central tumor necrosis, along with osteoclasts and hypercalcemia. Various theories exist as to why this histological subtype exists, as normal pancreas tissue has no benign squamous epithelium. Due to the rarity of this disease, limited molecular analysis has been performed, and those reports indicate unique molecular features of ASCP. In this paper, we characterize 23 patients diagnosed with ASCP through molecular profiling using immunohistochemistry staining, fluorescent in situ hybridization, chromogenic in situ hybridization, and gene sequencing, Additionally, we provide a comprehensive literature review of what is known to date of ASCP. Molecular characterization revealed overexpression in MRP1 (80%), MGMT (79%), TOP2A (75), RRM1 (42%), TOPO1 (42%), PTEN (45%), CMET (40%), and C-KIT (10%) among others. One hundred percent of samples tested were positive for KRAS mutations. This analysis shows heretofore unsuspected leads to be considered for treatments of this rare type of exocrine pancreas cancer. Molecular profiling may be appropriate to provide maximum information regarding the patient’s tumor. Further work should be pursued to better characterize this disease.

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