Pancreatic cancers take their origin from exocrine and endocrine components of the gland, but about 95% occur within the exocrine portion. In this short review, emphasis is placed on malignant tumors of exocrine epithelia. Ductal adenocarcinoma and its variants are discussed in more detail, and the pathology of the clinically most relevant special types of pancreatic carcinoma is presented. In addition, recent criteria used to identify preneoplastic lesions of the exocrine pancreas are reviewed. Finally, aspects of neuroendocrine differentiation in pancreatic carcinomas are discussed.

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