Short-term Results of a Magnetic Resonance Imaging–Based Swedish Screening Program for Individuals at Risk for Pancreatic Cancer | Cancer Screening, Prevention, Control | JAMA Surgery | JAMA Network
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Original Investigation
June 2015

Short-term Results of a Magnetic Resonance Imaging–Based Swedish Screening Program for Individuals at Risk for Pancreatic Cancer

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Surgery, Department of Clinical Science, Intervention, and Technology (CLINTEC), Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2Division of Pathology, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 3Division of Radiology, Department of Clinical Science, Intervention, and Technology (CLINTEC), Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 4Department of Clinical Genetics, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 5Department of Onco-Pathology, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 6Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institute and Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
JAMA Surg. 2015;150(6):512-518. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2014.3852

Importance  Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death in Western countries. In approximately 10% of all patients with pancreatic cancer, it is possible to define a positive family history for pancreatic cancer or for one of the other related genetic syndromes. A screening program for individuals at risk is recommended; however, surveillance modalities have not been defined yet.

Objective  To analyze the short-term results of a prospective clinical surveillance program for individuals at risk for pancreatic cancer using a noninvasive magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)–based screening protocol.

Design, Setting and Participants  A prospective observational study of all patients with a genetic risk for developing pancreatic cancer who were referred to Karolinska University Hospital between January 1, 2010, and January 31, 2013, using an MRI-based surveillance program. All patients were investigated for the most common genetic mutations associated with pancreatic cancer.

Exposure  A noninvasive MRI-based screening protocol.

Main Outcomes and Measures  The ability of MRI to identify potential precancerous or early cancers in individuals at risk for pancreatic cancer.

Results  Forty patients (24 women and 16 men) were enrolled. The mean age was 49.9 years. The mean length of follow-up was 12.9 months. The numbers of relatives affected by pancreatic cancer were 5 in 2 patients (5%), 4 in 5 patients (12.5%), 3 in 17 patients (42.5%), 2 in 14 patients (35%), and 1 in 2 patients (5%). In 4 patients (10%), a p16 mutation was found; in 3, a BRCA2 mutation (7.5%); and in 1, a BRCA1 mutation (2.5%). In 16 patients (40%), MRI revealed a pancreatic lesion: intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasia (14 patients, 35%) and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (2 patients, 5%). One patient had a synchronous intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasia and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Five patients (12.5%) required surgery (3 for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and 2 for intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasia), while the remaining 35 are under continued surveillance.

Conclusions and Relevance  During a median follow-up of approximately 1 year, pancreatic lesions were detected in 40% of the patients, of whom 5 underwent surgery. Although the study time was relatively short, the surveillance program in individuals at risk seems to be effective.