Clear cell carcinoma of the pancreas: an adenocarcinoma with ductal phenotype


Dr Lüttges Department of Pathology, University of Kiel, Michaelissstr. 11, 24105 Kiel, Germany.



Primary clear cell carcinoma of the pancreas resembling metastatic renal carcinoma has only rarely been described. To date it has been poorly characterized as a distinct tumour entity.

Methods and results

We report a case of clear cell carcinoma in a 53-year-old man involving the head of the pancreas and which had a small intraductal papillary component. The clear cell portion comprised about 90% of the tumour mass. It showed predominantly a solid growth pattern with a few scattered tubular structures. Immunocytochemically the tumour cells stained positively for cytokeratins 7, 8, 18 and 19, whereas the reaction for vimentin and neuroendocrine markers was negative. K-ras analysis revealed a point mutation at codon 12 with mutation of GGT to GAT.


The intraductal tumour component of this clear cell carcinoma as well as the cytokeratin pattern and the K-ras mutation suggest that this rare type of pancreatic cancer has a ductal phenotype.