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Surg Clin North Am. 1995 Oct;75(5):969-88.

Endoscopic palliation for unresectable pancreatic carcinoma.

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Division of Gastroenterology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


Endoscopic stenting has revolutionized the palliation of malignant biliary obstruction. Individuals with biliary obstruction due to pancreatic malignancy are best managed by a team approach comprising individuals with expertise in oncology, surgery, endoscopy, and radiology. The clinical value of alleviating jaundice and associated symptoms of anorexia, pruritus, and malaise cannot be overestimated. These quality-of-life factors deserve more attention in future studies to define subgroups of patients most likely to derive benefit from the array of treatment options. Further technical improvements are required to solve the most important clinical problem of late stent occlusion. New developments such as expandable metallic stents and refinements in existing equipment and techniques have already resulted in measurable gains and hold great promise for future expansion of their use in malignant gastric outlet obstruction secondary to tumor infiltration of the duodenum. Corresponding advances are being made in the fields of percutaneous transhepatic intervention and hepatobiliary surgery such that further prospective randomized trials are necessary to define optimal therapy.

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