BACKGROUND: Pancreatic acinar cell carcinoma (PACC) is a distinct type of pancreatic cancer with low prevalence. We aimed to analyze prognostic factors and survival outcome for PACC in comparison to pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), based on data from the German Cancer Registry Group.
METHODS: Patients with PACC and PDAC were extracted from pooled data of the German clinical cancer registries (years 2000 to 2019). The distribution of demographic parameters, tumor stage and therapy modes were compared between PACC and PDAC. The Kaplan-Meier method and Cox regression analysis were used to delineate prognostic factors for PACC. Propensity score matching was used to compare survival between PACC and PDAC.
RESULTS: There were 233 (0.44%) patients with PACC out of 52,518 patients with pancreatic malignancy. Compared to PDAC, patients with PACC were younger (median age 66 versus 70, respectively, p < 0.001) and the percentage of males was higher (66.1% versus 53.3%, respectively, p < 0.001). More patients were resected with PACC than with PDAC (56.2% versus 38.9%, respectively, p < 0.001). The estimated overall median survival in PACC was 22 months (95% confidence interval 15 to 27), compared to 12 months (95% confidence interval 10 to 13) in the matched PDAC cohort (p < 0.001). Surgical resection was the strongest positive prognostic factor for PACC after adjusting for sex, age, and distant metastases (hazard ratio 0.34, 95% confidence interval 0.22 to 0.51, p < 0.001). There was no survival benefit for adjuvant therapy in PACC.
CONCLUSIONS: PACC has overall better prognosis than PDAC. Surgical resection is the best therapeutic strategy for PACC and should be advocated even in advanced tumor stages.