Pancreatic neoplasms

A.Prof Frank Gaillard et al.

There are numerous primary pancreatic neoplasms, in part due to the mixed endocrine and exocrine components.


Classification based on function
  • exocrine: ~99% of all primary pancreatic neoplasms
  • endocrine: were previously referred as islet cell tumors because they were thought to have originated from the islets of Langerhans. However, new evidence suggests that these tumors originate from pluripotential stem cells in ductal epithelium 6
    • non-functional
    • functional
  • mesenchymal tumours
    • although the great majority of both benign and malignant pancreatic neoplasms arise from pancreatic epithelial cells, mesenchymal tumours, while rare, can derive from the connective, lymphatic, vascular, and neuronal tissues of the pancreas 7
    • they account for 1-2% of all pancreatic tumours and are classified according to their histologic origin 7
  • other
Exocrine tumours

See also: cystic pancreatic mass: differential diagnosis

Endocrine tumours

Endocrine tumours of the pancreas are divided into:

  • functional: ~85%
  • non-functional: ~15%
    • third most common
    • 85-100% malignant
    • usually larger, as a result of lack of hormonal activity, the clinical presentations are usually delayed till they become large
Mesenchymal tumours

Account for 1-2% of all pancreatic tumours and are classified according to their histologic origin 7:

These are further discussed at pancreatic mesenchymal neoplasms

Classification based on location 
Body and tail
Pancreatic pathology
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Article information

rID: 1832
Section: Gamuts
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Neoplasms of the pancreas
  • Tumours of the pancreas
  • Pancreatic tumours
  • Pancreatic cancers
  • Cancers of the pancreas
  • Pancreatic tumors
  • Pancreatic tumour
  • Pancreatic tumor

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Cases and figures

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    Figure 1: gross pathology - pancreatic carcinoma
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    Case 1
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    Axial T2 weighted...
    Case 2: insulinoma
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    Case 3: insulinoma
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    CT venous phase

    Case 4: islet-cell tumour
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    Case 5: pancreatic duct adenocarcinoma
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