Germline pathogenic variants in the ATM serine/threonine kinase (ATM) gene are associated with an increased risk of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. It is important to identify germline ATM pathogenic variants in pancreatic cancer patients because these alterations are potentially targetable with chemotherapeutic drugs and/or radiation and have implications for other family members. As germline pathogenic variants in other genes have been associated with distinct histologic subtypes of pancreatic cancer, we studied the histomorphology of pancreatic cancer in 23 patients with germline ATM pathogenic variants. The histologic subtype was ductal adenocarcinoma in 19/23 (83%) of the patients, adenosquamous carcinoma in 1/23 (4%), and colloid (mucinous non-cystic) carcinoma in 3/23 (13%). The percentage of colloid (mucinous non-cystic) carcinomas is higher than we have previously observed in patients with familial and sporadic pancreatic cancer (1 and 2% in prior reports, p < 0.01 and p < 0.01, respectively). Three carcinomas (2 colloid carcinomas, 1 ductal adenocarcinoma) arose in association with intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms. Among the resected pancreata, non-invasive precursor lesions, including pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia and incipient intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms, were identified in 83%. We conclude that pancreatic cancers in patients with germline ATM pathogenic variants are more frequently of colloid (mucinous non-cystic) morphology but are overall morphologically diverse supporting the utility of universal germline genetic testing for patients with pancreatic cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine