Intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms (IPMN) are pancreatic cystic lesions that can progress to invasive carcinoma. Consensus guidelines indicate surgery for IPMN at high risk of malignant progression, as assessed by specific radiological and clinical criteria, whereas an active radiological surveillance is recommended for IPMN at low risk of malignancy. The management of IPMN is further complicated by the risk of developing a distinct new cyst or a ductal adenocarcinoma in the remnant pancreas, either synchronously or metachronously. Several studies therefore investigated local progression in the remnant pancreas following partial pancreatic resection for IPMN and whether an unstable epithelium at risk for malignant degeneration may exist. Understanding the biological mechanisms behind progression of IPMN will help in identifying patients that would benefit from the resection of the entire pancreas.
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