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Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2012 Mar;41(1):143-57. doi: 10.1016/j.gtc.2011.12.001. Epub 2012 Jan 5.

Pancreatic cancer screening.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


Accumulating data indicate that clinically available abdominal imaging tests such as EUS and MRI/MRCP can detect asymptomatic precursor benign (IPMN, PanIN) and invasive malignant pancreatic neoplasms, such as ductal adenocarcinoma, in individuals with an inherited predisposition. These asymptomatic FPCs detected have been more likely to be resectable, compared to symptomatic tumors. The most challenging part of screening high-risk individuals is the selection of individuals with high-grade precursor neoplasms for preventive treatment (ie, surgical resection before development of invasive cancer). Ongoing and future research should focus on formulating and validating a model for FPC risk and neoplastic progression using patient characteristics, imaging, and biomarkers. The comparative cost and effectiveness of various approaches for screening and surveillance of high-risk individuals also deserves study. For now, screening is best performed in high-risk individuals within the research protocols in academic centers with multidisciplinary teams with expertise in genetics, gastroenterology, radiology, surgery, and pathology.

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