Common features between neoplastic and preneoplastic lesions of the biliary tract and the pancreas

Piera Zaccari, Vincenzo Cardinale, Carola Severi, Federica Pedica, Guido Carpino, Eugenio Gaudio, Claudio Doglioni, Maria Chiara Petrone, Domenico Alvaro, Paolo Giorgio Arcidiacono, Gabriele Capurso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The bile duct system and pancreas show many similarities due to their anatomical proximity and common embryological origin. Consequently, preneoplastic and neoplastic lesions of the bile duct and pancreas share analogies in terms of molecular, histological and pathophysiological features. Intraepithelial neoplasms are reported in biliary tract, as biliary intraepithelial neoplasm (BilIN), and in pancreas, as pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasm (PanIN). Both can evolve to invasive carcinomas, respectively cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Intraductal papillary neoplasms arise in biliary tract and pancreas. Intraductal papillary neoplasm of the biliary tract (IPNB) share common histologic and phenotypic features such as pancreatobiliary, gastric, intestinal and oncocytic types, and biological behavior with the pancreatic counterpart, the intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm of the pancreas (IPMN). All these neoplastic lesions exhibit similar immunohistochemical phenotypes, suggesting a common carcinogenic process. Indeed, CCA and PDAC display similar clinic-pathological features as growth pattern, poor response to conventional chemotherapy and radiotherapy and, as a consequence, an unfavorable prognosis. The objective of this review is to discuss similarities and differences between the neoplastic lesions of the pancreas and biliary tract with potential implications on a common origin from similar stem/progenitor cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4343-4359
Number of pages17
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number31
Publication statusPublished - Aug 21 2019


  • Biliary
  • Common
  • Pancreatic
  • Preneoplastic
  • Progenitors
  • Tumor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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