AGA Clinical Practice Update on Pancreas Cancer Screening in High-Risk Individuals: Expert Review

Harry R. Aslanian, Jeffrey H. Lee, Marcia Irene Canto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Description: The purpose of this American Gastroenterological Association Institute Clinical Practice Update is to describe the indications for screening for pancreas cancer in high-risk individuals. Methods: The evidence reviewed in this work is based on reports of pancreas cancer screening studies in high-risk individuals and expert opinion. Best Practice Advice 1: Pancreas cancer screening should be considered in patients determined to be at high risk, including first-degree relatives of patients with pancreas cancer with at least 2 affected genetically related relatives. Best Practice Advice 2: Pancreas cancer screening should be considered in patients with genetic syndromes associated with an increased risk of pancreas cancer, including all patients with Peutz–Jeghers syndrome, hereditary pancreatitis, patients with CDKN2A gene mutation, and patients with 1 or more first-degree relatives with pancreas cancer with Lynch syndrome, and mutations in BRCA1, BRCA2, PALB2, and ATM genes. Best Practice Advice 3: Genetic testing and counseling should be considered for familial pancreas cancer relatives who are eligible for surveillance. A positive germline mutation is associated with an increased risk of neoplastic progression and may also lead to screening for other relevant associated cancers. Best Practice Advice 4: Participation in a registry or referral to a pancreas Center of Excellence should be pursued when possible for high-risk patients undergoing pancreas cancer screening. Best Practice Advice 5: Clinicians should not screen average-risk individuals for pancreas cancer. Best Practice Advice 6: Pancreas cancer screening in high-risk individuals should begin at age 50 years, or 10 years younger than the initial age of familial onset. Screening should be initiated at age 40 years in CKDN2A and PRSS1 mutation carriers with hereditary pancreatitis and at age 35 years in the setting of Peutz–Jeghers syndrome. Best Practice Advice 7: Magnetic resonance imaging and endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS) should be used in combination as the preferred screening modalities in individuals undergoing pancreas cancer screening. Best Practice Advice 8: The target detectable pancreatic neoplasms are resectable stage I pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and high-risk precursor neoplasms, such as intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms with high-grade dysplasia and some enlarged pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasias. Best Practice Advice 9: Screening intervals of 12 months should be considered when there are no concerning pancreas lesions, with shortened intervals and/or the performance of EUS in 6–12 months directed towards lesions determined to be low risk (by a multidisciplinary team). EUS evaluation should be performed within 3–6 months for indeterminate lesions and within 3 months for high-risk lesions, if surgical resection is not planned. New-onset diabetes in a high-risk individual should lead to additional diagnostic studies or change in surveillance interval. Best Practice Advice 10: Decisions regarding therapy directed towards abnormal findings detected during screening should be made by a dedicated multidisciplinary team together with the high-risk individual and their family. Best Practice Advice 11: Surgical resection should be performed at high-volume centers. Best Practice Advice 12: Clinicians should consider discontinuing pancreas cancer screening in high-risk individuals when they are more likely to die of non-pancreas cancer–related causes due to comorbidity and/or are not candidates for pancreas resection. Best Practice Advice 13: The limitations and potential risks of pancreas cancer screening should be discussed with patients before initiating a screening program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)358-362
Number of pages5
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2020


  • Cancer Screening
  • Pancreas Cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


Dive into the research topics of 'AGA Clinical Practice Update on Pancreas Cancer Screening in High-Risk Individuals: Expert Review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this