Pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia in association with intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms of the pancreas: implications for disease progression and recurrence

Am J Surg Pathol. 2004 Sep;28(9):1184-92. doi: 10.1097/01.pas.0000131556.22382.3c.


The development of pancreatic cancer (PC) several years after curative resection for noninvasive intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN) and the presence of PC distant from IPMN suggest that PC may develop independently of the IPMN. Here, we identified pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PanIN) lesions, the putative precursors of PC, in the ducts of pancreata resected for IPMN and assessed the frequency of molecular aberrations common to PanIN and PC, within these lesions. The protein expression of p53, p21(WAF1/CIP1), cyclin D1, p16(INK4A) and DPC4/Smad4 were examined by immunohistochemistry in 267 PanIN lesions from a cohort of 23 patients with IPMN. Overexpression of p21(WAF1/CIP1) was present in PanIN-1A and -1B lesions and increased in frequency in PanIN-2 and PanIN-3. Overexpression of p53 and cyclin D1, and loss of p16(INK4A) expression were detected in PanIN-2 and PanIN-3 lesions. Loss of DPC4/Smad4 expression occurred only in the PanIN-3 lesions. PanIN lesions that were more dysplastic than the coincident IPMN were identified in 5 of 12 patients, and 2 of these contained a greater number of aberrations in protein expression than the IPMN. PanIN lesions seen in association with IPMN demonstrate molecular and histologic changes identical to PanIN lesions found in association with PC and, in some cases, are more advanced than the associated IPMN. These data suggest that PanIN lesions found in the ducts of a pancreas with IPMN may be relevant to the development of PC either coincident with IPMN or in the remnant pancreas after curative resection of IPMN.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous / genetics*
  • Adenocarcinoma, Mucinous / metabolism
  • Carcinoma in Situ / genetics*
  • Carcinoma in Situ / metabolism
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Disease Progression
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / genetics
  • Neoplasms, Multiple Primary / genetics*
  • Neoplasms, Multiple Primary / metabolism
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / metabolism


  • Cell Cycle Proteins