Background/Objectives: The diagnosis of early-stage pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is still challenging. We conducted a multicenter study to clarify the clinical features of early-stage PDAC in Japan. Methods: We collected patients with stage 0 and stage I PDAC according to the sixth edition of the Japanese Classification of Pancreatic Carcinoma. We retrospectively analyzed the clinical profiles including opportunities for medical examination, imaging modalities and findings, methods of cytological diagnosis, and prognosis according to the stages at diagnosis. Results: Two hundred cases with Stage 0 and stage I PDAC were reported from 14 institutions, which accounted for approximately 0.7% and 3% of all PDAC cases, respectively. Overall, 20% of the early-stage PDAC cases were symptomatic. Indirect imaging findings such as dilatation of the main pancreatic duct were useful to detect early-stage PDAC. In particular, local fatty changes may be specific to early-stage PDAC. For preoperative pathologic diagnosis, cytology during endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography was more commonly applied than endoscopic ultrasound fine-needle aspiration. Although the overall prognosis was favorable, new PDAC lesions developed in the remnant pancreas in 11.5% cases. Conclusions: This multicenter study revealed several key points concerning the diagnosis and management of early-stage PDAC, including screening of asymptomatic cases, importance of indirect imaging findings, application of cytology during endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, and the risk of carcinogenesis in the remnant pancreas.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism