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World J Gastroenterol. May 7, 2021; 27(17): 1936-1942
Published online May 7, 2021. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v27.i17.1936
Post-pancreatitis diabetes mellitus and excess intra-pancreatic fat deposition as harbingers of pancreatic cancer
Maxim S Petrov
Maxim S Petrov, School of Medicine, The University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand
Author contributions: Petrov MS conceived and wrote the paper.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The author has no conflict of interest.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
Corresponding author: Maxim S Petrov, MD, MPH, PhD, Professor, School of Medicine, The University of Auckland, 28 Park Avenue, Auckland 1142, New Zealand.
Received: January 20, 2021
Peer-review started: January 20, 2021
First decision: February 23, 2021
Revised: March 2, 2021
Accepted: April 9, 2021
Article in press: April 9, 2021
Published online: May 7, 2021

Progress in the fight against pancreatic cancer has been hampered by many factors. One of them is the inability to detect the disease early in overwhelming majority of patients. The present paper outlines a novel way in which progress could be accelerated. This includes a focus on two harbingers—post-pancreatitis diabetes mellitus and excess intra-pancreatic fat deposition—that converge at affecting the tumor macroenvironment and microenvironment specifically in the pancreas, not other organs. The two entities have the potential to be incorporated into future screening strategies with a view to early detecting of pancreatic cancer.

Keywords: Pancreatic cancer, Post-pancreatitis diabetes mellitus, Intra-pancreatic fat, Pancreatitis, Early detection, Screening

Core Tip: Identification of harbingers of pancreatic cancer that are specifically related to the pancreas is necessary to enable cost-effective and achievement-appropriate screening for this disease. Post-pancreatitis diabetes mellitus and excess intra-pancreatic fat deposition are positioned well to serve the purpose.