Pancreatic Hepatoid Carcinoma: A Review of the Literature

Department of Surgery, Verona University Hospital, Verona, Italy.
Digestive surgery (Impact Factor: 2.16). 11/2013; 30(4-6):425-433. DOI: 10.1159/000355442
Source: PubMed


Hepatoid carcinomas (HCs) are extrahepatic neoplasms exhibiting features of hepatocellular tumors in terms of morphology and immunohistochemistry. They have been described in several organs, most notably in the stomach and ovary. They can present in pure forms or in association with other morphological aspects, such as endocrine tumors or ductal adenocarcinomas. The aim of this review is to describe aspects of hepatoid adenocarcinoma of the pancreas with regard to epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment.

The PubMed database was searched for publications addressing hepatoid adenocarcinoma of the pancreas. We have searched for articles including the following keywords: 'pancreatic hepatoid carcinoma', 'ectopic liver cancer' and 'rare pancreas neoplasm' published to date. As references, we used case reports and review articles.

Pancreatic forms of HCs are extremely uncommon: only 22 cases have been reported.

The possibility of an HC of the pancreas should be considered in the differential diagnosis of an uncommon pathological mass of the pancreas. Treatment seems to be related to the association with other neoplasms, tumor extension at the time of diagnosis and the possibility to perform a radical resection. The common embryologic origin of the pancreas and liver, together with peculiar environmental factors, may explain the development of pancreatic HCs.

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