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Pancreas. 2004 Apr;28(3):268-72.

Periodic ultrasonography checkup for the early detection of pancreatic cancer: preliminary report.

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  • 1Department of Cancer Survey, Osaka Medical Center for Cancer & CVD, Osaka, Japan.



To introduce our new ultrasonography (US) system for early detection of pancreatic cancer and report its preliminary results.


The basis of the system is periodic checkups for high-risk patients. Abnormal US findings, such as main pancreatic duct dilatation or pancreatic cyst(s), were indicated as high risk. Special US focusing on the pancreas and a set of serum tests were performed every 3 or 6 months. When some development was detected, additional examinations, including ERP with pancreatic juice cytology, were performed. There were 1098 subjects admitted through the end of May 1998, and the outcomes of these subjects were followed through the end of March 2002.


Three hundred ninety-three patients were registered for the periodic checkups. Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma was detected in 44 patients: 41 by the initial examination and 3 by the periodic checkups. Surgical resection was performed in 40.9%, and 50% of the resected patients were in stages 0-III. The cumulative 3-year survival rates of the resected patients were 100% in stages 0 and III, 75% in stage I, and 33% in stage IVa.


Periodic US checkups for patients with main pancreatic duct dilatation or cyst(s) are considered to be an effective method for the early detection of pancreatic cancer.

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