Interventional endoscopy in the diagnosis and management of pancreatic adenocarcinoma
Pancreatic cancer accounts for approximately 3% of all cancers in US, and is the fourth leading cause of mortality in both men and women. It is a silent killer due to lack of early symptoms and the majority of patients present at advanced stage at the time of initial diagnosis. Only 15–20% of patients are candidates for curative resection and even then, the 5-year survival rates range from 10–25%. Despite recent advances in the treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer, the prognosis remains grim with 5-year overall survival (OS) of approximately 10%. Early detection is key for improving patient outcomes in this lethal disease. Contributing to the difficulty in the diagnosis and management is the anatomic location of the pancreas within the abdomen (retroperitoneal location and being adjacent to hollow viscus, solid organs and major vessels), and suboptimal response to systemic chemotherapy. Multimodality imaging (pancreatic protocol CT and MRI/MRCP) is often used for the diagnosis and staging of pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Interventional endoscopy is a relatively new field, and with Endoscopic techniques becoming more advanced, their role in diagnosis and management of pancreatic cancer is expanding rapidly. Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) and endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) are the two main modalities used in cases of pancreatic neoplasms.