Date of Graduation


Document Type

Thesis (MS)

Program Affiliation

Biomedical Sciences

Degree Name

Masters of Science (MS)

Advisor/Committee Chair

James L. Abbruzzese, MD

Committee Member

Karin Hahn, MD, MS

Committee Member

Robert A. Wolff, MD

Committee Member

Michael Overman, MD

Committee Member

Gary Gallick, PhD


Ampullary cancer is a rare gastrointestinal malignancy that can be curable with surgical resection of localized disease. The benefit of adjuvant therapy, however, remains unknown in these patients partly because of difficulty in stratifying which patients are at high risk for recurrence. To better identify those patients who may benefit from adjuvant therapy, I conducted a retrospective analysis the pathology reports from 176 patients with surgically resected ampullary cancer who had not received any neoadjuvant therapy, the systemic therapy given, and the patient outcomes. A tissue microarray (TMA) of 95 surgically resected ampullary specimens was also constructed to examine whether there is a correlation between classical immunohistochemical profiles for intestinal and pancreaticobiliary tumors and their histologic classification. In this study, I confirmed the prognostic value of advanced T-stage, nodal metastases, and lymphovascular invasion. Patients whose tumors had “high risk” features had a significantly worse overall survival (p=.002). Furthermore, my research highlighted the importance of histology and its impact on survival, with pancreaticobiliary-like features being a negative prognostic factor (p=0.001). Importantly, patients whose tumors have pancreaticobiliary histology appear to benefit from adjuvant therapy, further implicating histology as an important pathologic marker (p=0.053). In addition, the TMA confirmed a correlation between classical immunohistochemical profiles for intestinal and pancreaticobiliary tumors and histologic classification. My research findings suggest that histology subtypes, T-stage, nodal metastases, and lymphovascular invasion should all be taken into consideration when determining which patients with ampullary cancer may benefit from further adjuvant therapy.


ampullary cancer, pathologic markers, adjuvant therapy



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