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Gastroenterology. 2011 Mar;140(3):850-6. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2010.11.048. Epub 2010 Dec 1.

Magnetic resonance imaging surveillance detects early-stage pancreatic cancer in carriers of a p16-Leiden mutation.

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Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.



Surveillance of high-risk groups for pancreatic cancer might increase early detection and treatment outcomes. Individuals with germline mutations in p16-Leiden have a lifetime risk of 15% to 20% of developing pancreatic cancer. We assessed the feasibility of detecting pancreatic cancer at an early stage and investigated the outcomes of patients with neoplastic lesions.


Individuals with germline mutations in p16-Leiden (N = 79; 31 male; mean age, 56 years; range, 39-72 years) were offered annual surveillance by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP). Those found to have neoplastic lesions were offered options for surgery or intensive follow-up. Individuals found to have possible neoplastic lesions were examined again by MRI/MRCP within 2 to 4 months.


After a median follow-up period of 4 years (range, 0-10 years), pancreatic cancer was diagnosed in 7 patients (9%). The mean age at diagnosis was 59 years (range, 49-72 years). Three of the tumors were present at the first examination, and 4 were detected after a negative result in the initial examination. All 7 patients had a resectable lesion; 5 underwent surgery, 3 had an R0 resection, and 2 had lymph node metastases. Possible precursor lesions (ie, duct ectasias, based on MRCP) were found in 9 individuals (11%).


MRI/MRCP detects small, solid pancreatic tumors and small duct ectasias. Although surveillance increases the rate of resectability, carriers of a p16-Leiden mutation develop aggressive tumors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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