Diagnostic evaluation and staging of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma

Caitlin A. McIntyre, Jordan M. Winter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) frequently presents at an advanced and incurable stage of the disease. Common signs and symptoms of PDA include abdominal or back pain, jaundice, weight loss, pruritus, and nausea/vomiting. Diagnostic workup includes serum chemistries and CA19-9, primarily to monitor disease status and response to treatment. Imaging studies are performed to assess resectability and stage disease, and pancreatic protocol computed tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are the preferred imaging studies for this purpose. Conventional staging is based on the American Joint Cancer Committee (AJCC) Staging System, 7th Edition and informs prognosis, while surgical staging systems focus specifically on assessing the likelihood of a complete (negative margins) resection with operative management. Herein, we review the presenting signs and symptoms, the diagnostic evaluation, and staging of PDA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-27
Number of pages9
JournalSeminars in Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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