Squamous cell carcinoma of the pancreas

J Gastrointest Surg. 1999 Sep-Oct;3(5):512-5. doi: 10.1016/s1091-255x(99)80105-x.


Squamous cell carcinoma of the pancreas is a controversial entity. Although some reports show that it is metastatic from another source, others demonstrate that it is a primary tumor. Between 1988 and 1997, fourteen cases of pancreatic squamous cell carcinoma were identified in the records of our pathology department. In seven instances the features were consistent with squamous cell carcinoma with no adenomatous component. The records of six of these patients were available for review and constitute the basis for this report. Five patients were diagnosed by means of percutaneous CT-guided fine-needle aspiration, whereas the sixth patient was diagnosed using a transduodenal core needle biopsy. At the time of diagnosis four patients had lung lesions, three patients had liver lesions, and two patients had lytic bone lesions. One patient had a 6 cm esophageal lesion. Surgical intervention had no impact on treatment or palliation in one of the patients. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy, alone or in combination, were ineffective in all patients. Median survival from the time of diagnosis was 2 months. We conclude that in cases of squamous cell carcinoma of the pancreas, every effort should be made to exclude adenomatous components histologically within the tumor and to exclude another primary source of squamous cell carcinoma. This will allow a better understanding of this entity and a refinement of therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*