USPSTF Reaffirms Recs Against Screening for Pancreatic Cancer

Potential benefits of screening do not outweigh potential harms in asymptomatic adults

HealthDay News – The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends against screening for pancreatic adenocarcinoma as the potential benefits do not outweigh the potential harms. These recommendations form the basis of a final recommendation statement published in the August 6 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Nora B. Henrikson, PhD, MPH, from the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle, and colleagues conducted a systematic review of the benefits and harms of screening for pancreatic adenocarcinoma to inform the USPSTF.

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Data were included for 13 fair-quality prospective cohort screening studies with 1317 individuals that were conducted mainly in populations at high familial risk for pancreatic adenocarcinoma. The researchers found no evidence that screening had an effect on morbidity or mortality or on the effectiveness of treatment of screen-detected pancreatic adenocarcinoma. No serious harms from initial screening were reported in 8 studies assessing procedural harms of screening, and no evidence of psychological harms related to screening was found. Limited evidence for surgical harms was identified. Based on these findings, the USPSTF reaffirms its previous conclusion that the potential benefits of screening do not outweigh potential harms in asymptomatic adults, and therefore, the USPSTF recommends against screening (D recommendation).

“The task force is calling for more research on effective and accurate screening tests that can detect pancreatic cancer earlier and that lead to fewer harms,” a task force member said in a statement.

One review author disclosed financial ties to Merck and Ipsen.

Recommendation Statement

Evidence Report

Editorial 1

Editorial 2