From the Journals

AGA Clinical Practice Update: Tumor seeding with endoscopic procedures



Certain endoscopic procedures carry the risk of tumor seeding. In prior studies, these rates were 0.005% to 0.009% for patients undergoing percutaneous abdominal biopsy, 1.6% for percutaneous radiofrequency ablation of hepatocellular carcinoma, and 2.7% for needle biopsy of hepatocellular carcinoma. When placing percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tubes, the “pull-through” technique is most common but “should be avoided in all patients with oropharyngeal or esophageal cancer,” the clinical practice update states. The authors cite multiple studies linking the pull-through technique to metastasis.

Clinicians also should avoid fine needle aspiration (FNA) of primary hilar cholangiocarcinomas, especially in patients who are surgical or transplant candidates, wrote Ferga C. Gleeson, MB, BCh, and her associates, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston. The report is in the September issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology (doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2018.05.014).

For patients with suspected pancreatic cancer, the clinical practice update recommends endoscopic ultrasound (EUS)–guided FNA “in any site within the gland when a confirmatory diagnosis of cancer would alter patient management.” The authors also emphasize promptly closing iatrogenic perforations during endoscopic mucosal resection and endoscopic submucosal dissection and practicing nonexposure techniques during endoscopic resection of subepithelial lesions.

For patients with cholangiocarcinoma, primary tumor FNA is controversial because it can be the sole means of cancer diagnosis but also significantly increases the risk of peritoneal metastasis, especially in the setting of larger tumor size, thicker needles, multiple passes, high-grade tumors, and scanty normal tissue along the needle tract, the experts note. Because FNA “may render a patient with cholangiocarcinoma ineligible for entry into a liver transplantation protocol,” it is “best to avoid” or at least discuss with a transplant hepatologist, they add.

However, EUS is appropriate when evaluating suspicious lymphadenopathy in liver transplantation candidates with cholangiocarcinoma, they note. This is because imaging techniques have inadequate sensitivity and a positive EUS result would preclude unnecessary neoadjuvant chemoradiation and staging laparotomy. If FNA is negative, patients do require staging laparotomy to verify the absence of nodal disease before transplantation, according to the clinical practice update.

Endoscopic mucosal and submucosal resection are valuable treatment options for esophageal, gastric, and colonic dysplasia and early carcinoma, but they also can lead to unintended gastrointestinal perforation. In past studies, rates of iatrogenic perforation were 1% when patients underwent endoscopic mucosal resection and 5% when they underwent submucosal resection. For patients with any stage of gastric cancer, an accidental perforation can seed the peritoneum with cancer cells from the contents of the stomach. Contact with a primary tumor also can cause shedding of tumor cells that can enter the peritoneal cavity through a perforation. Although most of these cases do not have clinically significant outcomes, perforations need to be promptly closed and should be avoided, if at all possible, during endoscopic full-thickness resections, the experts wrote.

They recommend using nonexposure techniques while resecting subepithelial tumors and call for more safety studies of endoscopic submucosal dissection of malignancies and endoscopic full-thickness resection of subepithelial lesions. “These studies should focus on individual reports or case series of peritoneal or mediastinal examination during surgery following failed resection of these lesions,” the authors concluded.

Dr. Gleeson and her associates disclosed no funding sources and reported having no conflicts of interest.

SOURCE: Gleeson FC et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2018 May 17. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2018.05.014.

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