Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Evolving Role of Pathology in New Developments, Classification, Terminology, and Diagnosis of Pancreatobiliary Neoplasms

Michelle D. ReidMDMelinda M. LewisMDField F. WillinghamMD, MPHVolkan AdsayMD
From the Departments of Pathology (Drs Reid, Lewis, and Adsay) and Digestive Diseases (Dr Willingham), Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia.
Reprints: Michelle D. Reid, MD, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Emory University Hospital, 1364 Clifton Rd NE, Rm H-189, Atlanta, GA 30322 (email: ).
Pancreatobiliary tract lesions are increasingly being discovered because of more sensitive imaging modalities. Magnetic resonance imaging has identified incidental pancreatic cysts in 13.5% of patients of progressively increasing age. Pancreatobiliary tissue is more accessible through endoscopic ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging–guided biopsy procedures, and is now an integral part of pathologists' routine practice. Accordingly, several new tumor categories have been recently recognized, including intraductal tubulopapillary neoplasm, a new addition to tumoral intraepithelial neoplasms. Other entities have been reclassified, including the recent transition to 2-tiered grading of preinvasive neoplasms, as well as new perspectives on the distinctive biologic behavior of oncocytic intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMNs) compared with other IPMN subtypes. This has led to proposals for revised staging of virtually every segment of the pancreatobiliary tree, with theranostic markers becoming an integral part of workup. Ki-67 is now an integral part of the classification of neuroendocrine tumors, with new definitions of “high-grade neuroendocrine carcinoma.” Although bile duct brushings have opened new avenues for diagnosis, their sensitivity remains low and often requires concomitant fluorescent in situ hybridization to better define ambiguous cases. Various molecular pathways have been elucidated for pancreatic cysts, including KRAS for ductal neoplasia, GNAS for intestinal IPMNs, RNF3 for mucinous cysts, and VHL for serous cystic neoplasms, all key players in diagnostic workup. Integration of these updates into our understanding of pancreatobiliary disease requires active engagement of pathologists for appropriate specimen triage, judicious interpretation of results, and incorporation into reporting and staging. They also provide exciting opportunities for targeted therapy.

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