Background: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) is rarely a survivable disease. In rare cases, separate synchronous tumors are discovered at the time of resection, while in others, patients present with a metachronous cancer after prior surgical resection. Studying molecular markers of synchronous and metachronous lesions may aid to clarify the biology of this often deadly disease. Methods: Two patients presented with synchronous tumors (each one with a tumor in the pancreatic head/neck and the other in the tail, designated patients A and B). An additional patient (patient C) underwent an R0 resection for PDA of the head and recurred 1.5 y later with PDA in the tail. Genomic DNA was laser capture microdissected (LCM) from the tumor and molecular analysis was performed. K-ras status and loss of heterozygosity (LOH) were determined from multiple specimens for each case. Results: All samples from each patient harbored identical K-ras mutations. In patient A, the tumor at the head of the pancreas had more clonal genetic instability as reflected by LOH analysis over multiple LCM samples. Patient B had more genetic instability in the tail lesion compared with the neck. Patient C had virtually the identical molecular profile in both tumors, supporting the notion that both tumors were related. Conclusion: We conclude that the synchronous and metachronous tumors likely are initiated from identical precursor lesions and/or events (i.e., K-ras mutations). Future studies will need to investigate if these tumors will respond similarly to adjuvant therapies targeted against the clonal molecular events in the tumor.
- metachronous tumors
- molecular markers
- pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma
- synchronous tumors
ASJC Scopus subject areas