Clinical characteristics and surgical outcomes of resectable acinar cell carcinoma of the pancreas-propensity score matching analysis with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Eur J Surg Oncol. 2022 May;48(5):1062-1067. doi: 10.1016/j.ejso.2021.11.135. Epub 2021 Dec 2.


Background: Surgical resection is recommended for patients with resectable acinar cell carcinoma (ACC). The aim of this study was to investigate the clinical characteristics and surgical outcomes of resectable ACC in comparison to pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC).

Method: A retrospective analysis was performed on all patients who consecutively underwent radical resection with pathologically confirmed ACC and PDAC from December 2011 to December 2018. Clinicopathologic characteristics and follow-up information were analyzed. A 1:3 propensity score matching (PSM) method was used to minimize the bias between ACC and PDAC.

Results: A total of 26 patients with ACC and 1351 with PDAC were included. Compared to PDAC, ACC tended to be larger (4.5 vs. 3.0 cm; p < 0.001) and more frequently located in the pancreatic body/tail (61.5% vs. 36.6%, p = 0.009), with lower total bilirubin levels, lower neutrophil lymphocyte ratio (NLR) levels and lower carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (CA19-9) levels and carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) levels. There was no difference in postoperative morbidities in patients with ACC and PDAC. The median OS and RFS were longer in ACC when compared to PDAC (OS: 43.5 mo vs. 19.0 mo, p = 0.004; RFS: 24.5 mo vs. 11.6 mo, p = 0.023). After the 1:3 PSM, ACC remained to be a better histological type for OS (p = 0.024), but had comparable RFS with PDAC (p = 0.164).

Conclusion: Patients with ACC after radical resection had better OS than that with PDAC. However, ACC is also an aggressive tumor with a similar trend of RFS with PDAC after the matching, necessitating the multidisciplinary treatment for resectable ACC disease.

Keywords: Acinar cell carcinoma; Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma; Propensity score matching; Surgical resection.

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Acinar Cell* / surgery
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal* / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Pancreas
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Prognosis
  • Propensity Score
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome