Molecular Testing in the Workup of Pancreatic and Biliary Tumors


The work up of pancreatic and biliary lesions usually starts with a fine needle aspirate (FNA) or small biopsy specimen. Many times, either due to the paucity of findings or the non-definitive nature of findings, classifying these lesions is difficult. Understanding and implementing molecular testing in this setting can help resolve differential diagnostic dilemmas and can help define management for patients. Moreover, molecular testing may be useful in determining the presence of malignancy or malignancy potential of a neoplastic process. Understanding of the molecular mechanisms at the base of these different entities and knowledge of the testing available can help define diagnostic strategies that can contribute to a prompt and accurate diagnosis.

Originally published on March 5, 2024

Lecture Presenter

Georgios Deftereos, MD

Georgios Deftereos, MD

Former Associate Professor of Pathology
University of Utah School of Medicine
Former Section Head, Solid Tumor Molecular Oncology
ARUP Laboratories

Dr. George Deftereos is the section head of solid tumor molecular oncology and a medical director of molecular oncology at ARUP Laboratories. He is also an associate professor at the University of Utah School of Medicine. Dr. Deftereos received his medical degree from the University of Bari Aldo Moro before completing an anatomic and clinical pathology residency at Allegheny Health Network. He then completed both a cytopathology fellowship and a molecular genetic pathology fellowship at the University of Washington. His research interests include epigenetics of solid tumors, minimally invasive precision diagnostics, and molecular testing cytopathology of solid tumors.


After this presentation, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the different types of pancreatic cysts and how molecular testing can help with differential diagnosis and management of these lesions
  • Discuss the molecular changes seen in pancreatic and biliary malignancies and how to apply this knowledge in pathology practice
  • Identify possible targeted therapies in pancreaticobiliary malignancies

Sponsored by:

University of Utah School of Medicine, Department of Pathology, and ARUP Laboratories