Role of therapeutic endoscopic ultrasound in gastrointestinal malignancy- current evidence and future directions

Clin J Gastroenterol. 2022 Jan 14. doi: 10.1007/s12328-021-01559-4. Online ahead of print.


Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) has come a long way from a mere diagnostic tool to an advanced therapeutic modality. With the advent of better technologies and accessories, EUS has found ground in the management of gastrointestinal (GI) malignancies, not only for diagnosis but also for therapeutic purposes. EUS can tackle a host of conditions, including hepato-pancreatico-biliary malignancies. Advances and experience in various EUS-guided biliary drainage techniques have enabled the endosonologist to tackle biliary obstruction when conventional techniques of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) and/or percutaneous transhepatic biliary drainage (PTBD) fails. More and more emerging data not only establishes the safety of EUS-BD but also demonstrates superior efficacy over PTBD and sometimes even ERCP. Malignant gastric outlet obstruction can now be safely managed with EUS-guided gastroenterostomy. Starting from pain management in malignant tumors through celiac plexus neurolysis to various tumor ablative therapies, EUS has forged ahead over percutaneous treatment or surgical options in the management of GI malignancies. Additional data is now coming up on the prospects of EUS-guided immunotherapy and biological therapy for tumor management. The future of EUS therapeutics in the field of GI malignancies is bright. With increasing evidence, this modality becoming a key player in management of a host of complex clinical conditions arising out of GI malignancies is in the offing. This review focuses on elucidating the role of therapeutic EUS in the management of GI malignancies, a synopsis of various techniques, data on its safety and efficacy as well as future advancements in this domain.

Keywords: Biliary drainage; Celiac plexus neurolysis; Gastrojejunostomy; Immunotherapy; Tumor ablation.

Publication types

  • Review