Knowledge of the patterns of allelic loss has been useful in identifying the spectrum of the tumor suppressor genes involved in various tumor types. Such analyses in pancreatic carcinoma have been difficult due to the characteristic host desmoplastic reaction to the neoplasm. We have assembled the first allelotype of pancreatic adenocarcinoma, a survey for allelic loss among each chromosomal arm, using seven cryostat-dissected neoplasms. The fractional allelic loss in these seven neoplasms was 0.18, a value similar to that seen previously in colorectal carcinoma. Alleles of chromosome 18q (lost in five of six informative tumors) and of chromosome 17p (lost in four of five informative tumors) were commonly affected. Neither APC mutations (33 neoplasms), allelic shifts of dinucleotide repeats (26 neoplasms), nor immunohistochemical evidence of retinoblastoma protein underexpression (7 neoplasms) were found. Further evaluation of allelic loss in pancreatic cancer would benefit from improved methods for the analysis of lost genetic material which overcome the problems posed by the high admixture of nonneoplastic stromal and inflammatory cells in these tumors.


Supported by NIH Grants RO1-CA56130-03 and RO1-CA57345 and by the Medical Research Council of Canada (to M. R.).

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