Comprehensive genomic profiling has demonstrated that approximately 20% of pancreatic carcinomas with acinar differentiation harbor potentially targetable BRAF fusions that activate the MAPK pathway.


To validate the above finding by BRAF break-apart fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) in a large series of pure acinar cell carcinomas (ACCs), evaluate tumors for the presence of BRAF V600E mutations, and compare clinicopathologic features of tumors with BRAF rearrangements with those without.


Thirty cases of pure ACC and 6 cases of mixed acinar-neuroendocrine carcinoma (ACC-NEC) were retrieved. A break-apart FISH probe was used to detect BRAF rearrangements. Immunohistochemistry for BRAF V600E was performed.


BRAF rearrangements by FISH were found in 6 of 36 cases (17%), 5 of which were pure ACC and 1 was a mixed ACC-NEC. Follow-up was available in 29 of 36 (81%). The median survival was 22 months for BRAF-rearranged cases and 16 months for BRAF-intact cases; the 2-year overall survival was 50% for BRAF-rearranged cases and 35% for BRAF-intact cases. No significant clinicopathologic differences were identified in cases with BRAF rearrangement compared with those without BRAF rearrangement. BRAF V600E mutation was identified in 2 of 34 cases (6%), both of which were pure ACC and were BRAF-intact by FISH.


This study supports the finding that BRAF rearrangements are present in approximately 20% of cases and identified BRAF V600E mutations in approximately 5% of cases. These cases may benefit from targeted therapy.

This content is only available as a PDF.

Author notes

Supported by grants from the Mayo Clinic Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Division of Anatomic Pathology.

The authors have no relevant financial interest in the products or companies described in this article.