Surveillance of Individuals at High Risk of Developing Pancreatic Cancer: A Prevalence Meta-analysis to Estimate the Rate of Low-yield Surgery

Salvatore Paiella, Erica Secchettin, Gabriella Lionetto, Livia Archibugi, Danila Azzolina, Fabio Casciani, Diane M. Simeone, Kasper A. Overbeek, Michael Goggins, James Farrell, Ruggero Ponz De Leon Pisani, Maddalena Tridenti, Maria Assunta Corciulo, Giuseppe Malleo, Paolo Giorgio Arcidiacono, Massimo Falconi, Dario Gregori, Claudio Bassi, Roberto Salvia, Gabriele Capurso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objective: To quantify the rate of low-yield surgery, defined as no high-grade dysplastic precursor lesions or T1N0M0 pancreatic cancer at pathology, during pancreatic cancer surveillance. Background: Global efforts have been made in pancreatic cancer surveillance to anticipate the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer at an early stage and improve survival in high-risk individuals (HRIs) with a hereditary predisposition. The negative impact of pancreatic cancer surveillance when surgery is performed for low-grade dysplasia or a non-neoplastic condition is not well quantified. Materials and Methods: A systematic search and prevalence meta-analysis was performed for studies reporting surgery with final diagnoses other than those defined by the Cancer of the Pancreas Screening (CAPS) goals from January 2000 to July 2023. The secondary outcome was the pooled proportion of final diagnoses matching the CAPS goals (PROSPERO: CRD42022300408). Results: Twenty-three articles with 5027 patients (median 109 patients/study, interquartile range 251) were included. The pooled prevalence of low-yield surgery was 2.1% (95% CI: 0.9-3.7, I 2: 83%). In the subgroup analysis, this prevalence was nonsignificantly higher in studies that only included familial pancreatic cancer subjects without known pathogenic variants, compared with those enrolling pathogenic variant carriers. No effect modifiers were found. Overall, the pooled prevalence of subjects under surveillance who had a pancreatic resection that contained target lesions was 0.8% (95% CI, 0.3-1.5, I 2: 24%]. The temporal analysis showed that the rate of low-yield surgeries decreased in the last decades and stabilized at around 1% (test for subgroup differences P<0.01). Conclusions: The risk of "low-yield" surgery during pancreatic cancer surveillance is relatively low but should be thoroughly discussed with individuals under surveillance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-44
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2024

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