Histologic subtype-based evaluation of recurrence and survival outcomes in patients with adenocarcinoma of the ampulla of Vater

Sci Rep. 2023 Oct 2;13(1):16547. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-42386-6.


Patients with ampulla of Vater adenocarcinoma exhibit diverse outcomes, likely since these malignancies can originate from any of the three converging epithelia at this site. Such variability presents difficulties in clinical decision-making processes and in devising therapeutic approaches. In this study, the potential clinical value of histomolecular phenotypes was determined by integrating histopathological analysis with protein expression (MUC1, CDX2, CK20, and MUC2), in a cohort of 87 patients diagnosed with stage IB to III ampulla of Vater adenocarcinoma who underwent curative surgical resection. Of the 87 patients, 54 were classified as pancreato-biliary (PB) subtype and 33 as intestinal subtype. The median follow-up time for all patients was 32.8 months (95% CI, 25.3-49.2). Patients with a histomolecular PB phenotype (CDX2 negative, MUC1 positive, MUC2 negative, and irrespective of the CK20 results) were associated with poor prognostic outcomes in both disease-free survival (DFS) (HR = 1.81; 95% CI, 1.04-3.17; p = 0.054) and overall survival (OS) (HR = 2.01; 95% CI, 1.11-3.66; p = 0.039) compared to those with histomolecular intestinal carcinomas. Patients with the PB subtype were more likely to have local recurrence alone (11 of 37, 29.7%) compared to those with the intestinal subtype (1 of 15, 6.7%). In the context of systemic disease, a notably greater proportion of patients exhibiting elevated carbohydrate antigen 19-9 levels were observed in the PB subtype compared to the intestinal subtype (p = 0.024). In the cohort of 38 patients who received first-line palliative chemotherapy, a diminished median overall survival (OS) was observed in the PB group compared to the intestinal group (10.3 vs. 28.3 months, HR = 2.47; 95% CI, 1.23-4.95; p = 0.025). By integrating histopathologic and molecular criteria, we can identify distinct and clinically relevant histomolecular phenotypes in adenocarcinomas of the ampulla of Vater, which could have considerable impact on existing therapeutic approaches.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma* / pathology
  • Ampulla of Vater* / pathology
  • CDX2 Transcription Factor / metabolism
  • Common Bile Duct Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Humans
  • Prognosis


  • CDX2 Transcription Factor