Background and Aims The management of pancreatic cysts poses challenges to both patients and their physicians. We investigated whether a combination of molecular markers and clinical information could improve the classification of pancreatic cysts and management of patients. Methods We performed a multi-center, retrospective study of 130 patients with resected pancreatic cystic neoplasms (12 serous cystadenomas, 10 solid pseudopapillary neoplasms, 12 mucinous cystic neoplasms, and 96 intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms). Cyst fluid was analyzed to identify subtle mutations in genes known to be mutated in pancreatic cysts (BRAF, CDKN2A, CTNNB1, GNAS, KRAS, NRAS, PIK3CA, RNF43, SMAD4, TP53, and VHL); to identify loss of heterozygozity at CDKN2A, RNF43, SMAD4, TP53, and VHL tumor suppressor loci; and to identify aneuploidy. The analyses were performed using specialized technologies for implementing and interpreting massively parallel sequencing data acquisition. An algorithm was used to select markers that could classify cyst type and grade. The accuracy of the molecular markers was compared with that of clinical markers and a combination of molecular and clinical markers. Results We identified molecular markers and clinical features that classified cyst type with 90%-100% sensitivity and 92%-98% specificity. The molecular marker panel correctly identified 67 of the 74 patients who did not require surgery and could, therefore, reduce the number of unnecessary operations by 91%. Conclusions We identified a panel of molecular markers and clinical features that show promise for the accurate classification of cystic neoplasms of the pancreas and identification of cysts that require surgery.
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