Distal bile duct carcinomas and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas: postulating a common tumor entity

Cancer Med. 2016 Jan;5(1):88-99. doi: 10.1002/cam4.566. Epub 2015 Dec 9.


The set definition of distal cholangiocarcinomas and adenocarcinomas of the pancreatic head is challenged by their close anatomical relation, similar growth pattern, and corresponding therapeutic outcome. They show a mutual development during embryologic organ formation and share phenotypic characteristics. This review will highlight the similarities with regard to the common origin of their primary organs, histopathological similarities, and modern clinical management. Thus, we propose to subsume those entities under a common superfamily.

Keywords: Bile duct neoplasm; cholangiocarcinoma; pancreatic neoplasm.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bile Duct Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Bile Duct Neoplasms / etiology
  • Bile Duct Neoplasms / pathology
  • Bile Duct Neoplasms / therapy
  • Bile Ducts, Extrahepatic / embryology
  • Bile Ducts, Extrahepatic / pathology*
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / diagnosis*
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / etiology
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal / therapy
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Genetic Variation
  • Humans
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / etiology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / therapy
  • Phenotype