Prospective Follow-up Study of the Recurrence of Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosed at an Early Stage: The Value of Endoscopic Ultrasonography for Early Diagnosis of Recurrence in the Remnant Pancreas

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ObjectivesMost patients with pancreatic cancer (PC) demonstrate recurrences in the form of metastatic disease. We prospectively evaluated recurrence in PC cases diagnosed at an early stage.MethodsThirty cases of PC stage 0 or IA were prospectively followed for at least 1 year after initial surgery. We performed blood tests and contrast-enhanced computed tomography (CT) every 3 to 6 months. Endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) was performed if CT revealed abnormal findings in the remnant pancreas (RP).ResultsThe median follow-up period was 53.9 months. Pancreatic cancer recurred in the RP (n = 8) and liver (n = 1). Computed tomography revealed mass lesions in 5 cases, a cystic lesion in 2 cases, and pancreatic duct dilatation in 1 case. Endoscopic ultrasonography detected mass lesions in 3 cases without a detectable mass on CT. The sensitivity of EUS-guided fine-needle aspiration and pancreatic juice cytology was 75%. Five of 8 cases underwent total resection of the RP, with pathologic findings revealing stage IA in 1 case, stage II in 1 case, and stage III in 3 cases.ConclusionsCareful long-term follow-up including EUS should be performed in resected PC cases diagnosed at an early stage to check recurrence in the RP.

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