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International Association of Pancreatology (IAP)/European Pancreatic Club (EPC) consensus review of guidelines for the treatment of pancreatic cancer

Kyoichi Takaori, Claudio Bassi, Andrew Biankin, Thomas B Brunner, Ivana Cataldo, Fiona Campbell, David Cunningham, Massimo Falconi, Adam E Frampton, Junji Furuse, Marc Giovannini, Richard Jackson, Akira Nakamura, William Nealon, John P Neoptolemos, Francisco X Real, Aldo Scarpa, Francesco Sclafani, John A Windsor, Koji Yamaguchi, Christopher Wolfgang, Colin D Johnson
Pancreatology: Official Journal of the International Association of Pancreatology (IAP) ... [et Al.] 2016, 16 (1): 14-27
26699808

BACKGROUND: Pancreatic cancer is one of the most devastating diseases with an extremely high mortality. Medical organizations and scientific societies have published a number of guidelines to address active treatment of pancreatic cancer. The aim of this consensus review was to identify where there is agreement or disagreement among the existing guidelines and to help define the gaps for future studies.

METHODS: A panel of expert pancreatologists gathered at the 46th European Pancreatic Club Meeting combined with the 18th International Association of Pancreatology Meeting and collaborated on critical reviews of eight English language guidelines for the clinical management of pancreatic cancer. Clinical questions (CQs) of interest were proposed by specialists in each of nine areas. The recommendations for the CQs in existing guidelines, as well as the evidence on which these were based, were reviewed and compared. The evidence was graded as sufficient, mediocre or poor/absent.

RESULTS: Only 4 of the 36 CQs, had sufficient evidence for agreement. There was also agreement in five additional CQs despite the lack of sufficient evidence. In 22 CQs, there was disagreement regardless of the presence or absence of evidence. There were five CQs that were not addressed adequately by existing guidelines.

CONCLUSION: The existing guidelines provide both evidence- and consensus-based recommendations. There is also considerable disagreement about the recommendations in part due to the lack of high level evidence. Improving the clinical management of patients with pancreatic cancer, will require continuing efforts to undertake research that will provide sufficient evidence to allow agreement.

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