Korean J Gastroenterol.  2010 Apr;55(4):245-251. 10.4166/kjg.2010.55.4.245.

Acinar Cell Carcinoma of the Pancreas in Korea: Clinicopathologic Analysis of 27 Patients from Korean Literature and 2 Cases from Our Hospital

  • 1Department of Surgery, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. hkpark@hanyang.ac.kr


BACKGROUND/AIMS: Acinar cell carcinoma (ACC) of the pancreas is a rare malignancy. ACC has been considered a cancer with poor prognosis due to frequent metastasis, a high recurrence rate, and low resectability. The aim of this study was to examine the clinical, radiologic and pathologic features of ACC in Korean patients, and surgical outcome was also investigated.
We reviewed the clinical records of two patients with ACC who had undergone operation in January 1996 and December 2005 at Hanyang University Medical Center. Through searching of medical journal from 1983 to 2009, 27 patients reported on literatures as Korean ACC patients were reviewed together. The clinical, pathohistologic, and radiologic features, treatment, and prognosis were investigated for all 29 patients.
ACC was more common in male, and age at diagnosis ranged from 25 to 68 years (median 54). Symptoms were, mostly abdominal pain and mass. Liver was most common organ of metastasis at diagnosis and recurrence after operation. The mean tumor size was 7.0 cm, and most common location was tail. Of the 29 patients, 22 underwent surgical resection. Excluding 7 cases of not-reported survival, the median survival with operation was 22.4 months compared to 1.5 months with non-operation.
In Korea, the clinical features of ACC include young age, large size, tail location, and nonspecific tumor markers. Surgery should be actively performed in the treatment of ACC regardless of size.


Acinar cell carcinoma; Pancreas

MeSH Terms

Age Factors
Carcinoma, Acinar Cell/*diagnosis/pathology/surgery
Middle Aged
Pancreatic Neoplasms/*diagnosis/pathology/surgery
Republic of Korea
Survival Analysis
Tumor Markers, Biological/analysis


1. Kilmstra DS, Heffess CS, Oertel JE, Rossi J. Acinar cell carcinoma of the pancreas: a clinic-pathologic study of 28 cases. Am J Surg Pathol. 1992; 16:815–837.
2. Holen KD, Klimstra DS, Hummer A, et al. Clinical characteristics and outcomes from an institutional series of acinar cell carcinoma of the pancreas and related tumors. J Clin Oncol. 2002; 20:4673–4678.
3. Lim JH, Chung KB, Cho OK, Cho KS. Acinar cell carcinoma of the pancreas: ultrasonography and computed tomography findings. Clin Imaging. 1990; 14:301–304.
4. Webb JN. Acinar cell neoplasms of the exocrine pancreas. J Clin Pathol. 1977; 30:103–112.
5. Kitagami H, Kondo S, Hirano S, Kawakami H, Egawa S, Tanaka M. Acinar cell carcinoma of the pancreas: Clinical analysis of 115 patients from pancreatic cancer registry of Japan Pancreas Society. Pancreas. 2007; 35:42–46.
6. Schmidt CM, Matos JM, Bentrem DJ, Talamonti MS, Lillemoe KD, Bilimoria KY. Acinar cell carcinoma of the pancreas in the United States: prognostic factors and comparison to ductal adenocarcinoma. J Gastrointest Surg. 2008; 12:2078–2086.
7. Kim MC, Kim HH, Jung GJ, Kim SS. Clinical study of acinar cell carcinomas of the pancreas: our cases and a review of 5 cases reported in Korea. J Korean Surg Soc. 2001; 60:97–102.
8. Kim HY, Ryu JK, Choi SB, et al. The clinical characteristics of acinar cell carcinoma in the pancreas. Korean J Hepatobiliary Pancreat Surg. 2009; 13:54–59.
9. Park JB, Kim YJ, Suh IS. Acinar cell carcinoma of the pancreas- a case report. Korean J Pathol. 1983; 17:467–471.
10. Oh JY, Nam KJ, Choi JC, et al. CT findings of acinar cell carcinoma of the pancreas: focused on spiral CT findings. J Korean Radiol Soc. 2001; 45:29–34.
11. Yoon MH. Pancreatic acinar cell carcinoma combined with hepatocellular carcinoma: a case report. Kosin Medical J. 2008; 23:37–39.
12. Choi JH, Kwon KH, Kim JE, et al. A cases of acinar cell carcinoma of the pancreas. J Korean Geriatr Soc. 2008; 12:160–164.
13. Chung SY, Yang I, Lee Y, Park HJ, Ahn HK. Acinar cell carcinoma of the pancreas- a case report. J Korean Cancer Asso. 1995; 27:692–695.
14. Cho HJ, Kim W. Acinar cell carcinoma of the pancreas- a case report. Korean J Hepatobiliary Pancreat Surg. 2002; 6:111–5.
15. Lee ES, Jung KH, Kim NR, Kim SH, Kim SM, Kim CH. Acinar cell carcinoma in a pancreas: report of a recurrent case. J Korean Cancer Asso. 1996; 28:782–787.
16. Park HS, Lim TJ, Bae JY, Kwon KY. Acinar cell carcinoma of the pancreas- a case report. J Korean Surg Soc. 1996; 51:296–302.
17. Lee HJ, Ji JH, Park SC, et al. A case of pancreatic acinar cell carcinoma. Yeungnam Univ. J Med. 2008; 25:128–133.
18. Park JK, Jeon SK, Kim DW, et al. A case of acinar cell carcinoma of the pancreas. Korean J Gastroenterol. 1996; 28:592–596.
19. Lee SH, Kim H, Kang SW. Acinar cell carcinoma of the pancreas- a case report. J Korean Radiol Soc. 1998; 39:1181–1183.
20. Seth AK, Argani P, Campbell KA, et al. Acinar cell carcinoma of the pancreas: an institutional series of resected patients and review of the current literature. J Gastrointest Surg. 2008; 12:1061–1067.
21. Radin DR, Colletti PM, Forrester DM, Tang WW. Pancreatic acinar cell carcinoma with subcutaneous and intraosseous fat necrosis. Radiology. 1986; 158:67–68.
22. Shimizu E, Kikuyama M, Hashimoto M, et al. A case of alphafetoprotein producing pancreatic carcinoma– review of 41 cases reported in Japan. Nippon Shokakibyo Gakkai Zasshi. 1996; 93:921–926.
Full Text Links
  • KJG
export Copy
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Similar articles
Copyright © 2023 by Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors. All rights reserved.     E-mail: koreamed@kamje.or.kr