Surgical Resection of a Rare Undifferentiated Pancreatic Carcinoma with Osteoclast-Like Giant Cells: A Case Review

Jessica L. Buicko, Anne Marie Lopez, Miguel A. Lopez-Viego


Undifferentiated (anaplastic) pancreatic carcinoma with osteoclast-like giant cells is an extremely rare malignancy with frequency of 0.2% of reported pancreatic carcinomas. As a whole, undifferentiated pancreatic carcinomas have worse prognoses than poorly differentiated pancreatic adenocarcinomas, yet it is thought that the subtype with osteoclast-like giant cells may in fact have a more promising outlook. We present an unusual case of an undifferentiated pancreatic carcinoma with osteoclast-like giant cells in a 70-year-old male patient presenting with abdominal pain, nausea, and weight loss, which was treated with surgical resection. This diagnosis is a difficult one as often times presenting symptoms are nonspecific. Endoscopy with biopsy specimens may not be sufficient for a histological diagnosis. The definitive diagnosis and treatment is excision of the mass. Patients often present with advanced disease and complete resection can rarely be preformed. Overall, the prognosis of this subtype of tumor is most similar to common ductal pancreatic carcinomas as opposed to undifferentiated pancreatic carcinomas.

J Med Cases. 2013;4(3):156-158


Pancreas; Pancreatic cancer; Undifferentiated pancreatic cancer; Giant cell tumors

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