Early Detection Research Network

Recent advances in genomic profiling of adenosquamous carcinoma of the pancreas.

Adenosquamous carcinoma of the pancreas (ASCP) is a mixed tumor type which contains squamous cell carcinoma and also ductal adenocarcinoma components. Due to the rarity of this malignancy, only very limited genomic profiling has been performed. A recent paper by Fang et al. published in The Journal of Pathology contributed to our knowledge of genomic alterations by performing whole-genome and -exome sequencing of 17 ASCP tumors. They found major genomic similarities to pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma; however, the p53 pathway was altered in a greater proportion of cases, while a high frequency of 3p loss was a distinct copy number alteration pattern observed in ASCP. Laser capture microdissection revealed that adenocarcinoma and squamous carcinoma components of ASCP harbor similar genomic variations, indicating that the origin of tumor components is the same or similar. Although the study published by Fang et al. increases our knowledge of this rare mixed tumor type, further investigation, including RNA sequencing, will be needed to fully characterize this malignancy and to aid the development of novel treatment approaches. Copyright © 2017 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Maitra A, Marcus R, Roszik J

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J. Pathol., 2017, 243 (3)