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Pancreatic Cancer Treatment (PDQ®)

Health Professional Version

Cellular Classification of Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer includes the following carcinomas:


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

Borderline Malignancies

  • Intraductal papillary mucinous tumor with dysplasia.[3]
  • Mucinous cystic tumor with dysplasia.
  • 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. [PUBMED Abstract]
  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. [PUBMED Abstract]
  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. [PUBMED Abstract]
  • Updated: February 6, 2015