Endoscopic palliative treatment of pancreatic cancer

Authors D. Xinopoulos, D. Dimitroulopoulos.


Pancreatic cancer is a significant clinical challenge worldwide.
Despite advances in surgical techniques and new
chemotherapy drugs less than 5% of all patients survive
past 5 years and at the time of diagnosis almost 85% of
patients are unsuitable candidates for curative resection of
the tumor. Thus, most of them will need palliative treatment.
Endoscopic palliative treatment of pancreatic cancer
is primarily directed at relief of obstructive jaundice
and duodenal obstruction. Obstructive jaundice occurs in
the vast majority of patients with unresectable pancreatic
carcinoma and endoscopic palliation is considered now as
the method of choice for all the cases that are not candidates
for possible curative resection. On the other hand,
endoscopic placement of an expandable metal enteral stent
in cases with duodenal obstruction due to pancreatic cancer,
is a relatively new technique that must be performed in
selected patients with advanced disease.
Key words: pancreatic cancer, endoscopic palliation, obstructive
jaundice, duodenal obstruction, stent, endoprosthesis
Invited Reviews