Most 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.Methods
Thirty 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).Results
The 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.Conclusions
Careful long-term follow-up including EUS should be performed in resected PC cases diagnosed at an early stage to check recurrence in the RP.