Correlation between molecular subtype and histological phenotype in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Sandrina Martens, Pierre Lefesvre, Tatjana Arsenijevic, Christelle Bouchart, Francesco Puleo, Jean-Luc Van Laethem, Ilse Rooman

Research output: Unpublished contribution to conferencePoster


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is a lethal cancer with a 5-year prognosis of less than 10%. In the past decade, researchers have focused on characterizing molecular subtypes to more accurately define prognosis and therapy. However, it is also possible to characterize tumours based on their histological appearance.

In this study, we aimed to determine whether the molecular subtypes are characterized by a specific histological appearance. We based the histological appearance on a paper of Schlitter et al. and used samples of 81 patients from the molecular subtyping paper of Puleo et al. The HE slides of these patients were evaluated by a pathologist and categorized in a specific histological subtype.

We found that certain histological appearances correlate with molecular subtypes. For the basal-like subtype, the molecular subtype with the worst prognosis, we found that these tumours showed a gyriform pattern, which is a less differentiated histology. For classical tumours, which have a better prognosis, tumours often showed either a classical appearance or a papillary appearance, both more differentiated histologies.

These findings could indicate that we can determine the molecular subtypes based on the tumour’s histological appearance, which would be both time- and cost-efficient. However, for some subtypes described by Puleo et al., such as the immune classical subtype, there is no clear histological pattern present. The current study only included 81 patients, thus including more samples will give a better indication whether all subtypes are described by a specific histological pattern, which could aid in the prognosis and determining the therapy regimen of a patient.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2019
EventU-CRC Symposium 2019 - Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium
Duration: 25 Oct 201925 Oct 2019


ConferenceU-CRC Symposium 2019
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