Table 1.

Brief summary of common tumors of the pancreas

Tumor typeGross appearanceKey features
Acinar cell carcinomaSolidRare, exocrine enzyme production, aggressive
Adenocarcinoma (ductal)SolidCommon, haphazard arrangement of neoplastic glands in desmoplastic stroma, ductal phenotype with cytokeratin 7 and 19 production, highly aggressive
IPMNCysticCommon, arise in the ducts and produce luminal mucin, columnar mucin-producing neoplastic cells, may progress to invasive carcinoma
MCNCysticMuch more common in women, columnar mucin-producing neoplastic cells with characteristic ovarian stroma, may progress to invasive carcinoma
PanINMicroscopicArise in smaller pancreatic ducts, ductal differentiation, precursor to invasive adenocarcinoma
PanNETSolidUniform cells grow in sheets, salt-and-pepper nuclei, neuroendocrine differentiation with expression of synaptophysin and chromogranin, malignant but less aggressive than ductal adenocarcinoma
SCNCysticCentral star-shaped scar, cuboidal glycogen-rich cells, vast majority are entirely benign
SPNSolid and cysticMuch more common in women, express CD10 and CD99, 10% behave aggressively

Abbreviations: IPMN, intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm; MCN, mucinous cystic neoplasm; PanIn, pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia; SCN, serous cystadenoma; SPN, solid-pseudopapillary neoplasm.