Intraductal tubulopapillary neoplasm (ITPN) of the pancreas: a distinct entity among pancreatic tumors

Histopathology. 2022 Sep;81(3):297-309. doi: 10.1111/his.14698. Epub 2022 May 27.


Aims: Intraductal tubulopapillary neoplasm (ITPN) of the pancreas is a recently recognized pancreatic tumor entity. Here we aimed to determine the most important features with a systematic review coupled with an integrated statistical approach.

Methods and results: PubMed, SCOPUS, and Embase were searched for studies reporting data on pancreatic ITPN. The clinicopathological, immunohistochemical, and molecular data were summarized. Then a comprehensive survival analysis and a comparative analysis of the molecular alterations of ITPN with those of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN) from reference cohorts (including the International Cancer Genome Consortium- ICGC dataset and The Cancer Genome Atlas, TCGA program) were conducted. The core findings of 128 patients were as follows: (i) Clinicopathological parameters: pancreatic head is the most common site; presence of an associated adenocarcinoma was reported in 60% of cases, but with rare nodal metastasis. (ii) Immunohistochemistry: MUC1 (>90%) and MUC6 (70%) were the most frequently expressed mucins. ITPN lacked the intestinal marker MUC2; unlike IPMN, it did not express MUC5AC. (iii) Molecular landscape: Compared with PDAC/IPMN, the classic pancreatic drivers KRAS, TP53, CDKN2A, SMAD4, GNAS, and RNF43 were less altered in ITPN (P < 0.001), whereas MCL amplifications, FGFR2 fusions, and PI3KCA mutations were commonly altered (P < 0.001). (iv) Survival analysis: ITPN with a "pure" branch duct involvement showed the lowest risk of recurrence.

Conclusion: ITPN is a distinct pancreatic neoplasm with specific clinicopathological and molecular characteristics. Its recognition is fundamental for its clinical/prognostic implications and for the enrichment of potential targets for precision oncology.

Keywords: IPMN; ITPN; PDAC; intraductal; pancreas; pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma; tubulopapillary.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal* / genetics
  • Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal* / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Papillary* / pathology
  • Humans
  • Pancreas / pathology
  • Pancreatic Intraductal Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Precision Medicine