SAN DIEGO, Calif.—Cook Medical has added a 25-gage needle to its EchoTip® ProCore™ line of fine-needle biopsy (FNB) histology needles, which are designed for use in endoscopic ultrasound, or EUS. The EchoTip ProCore is a single-use, disposable needle for FNB intended for sampling of submucosal lesions, mediastinal masses, lymph nodes and intraperitoneal masses.

      The new 25-gage biopsy needle enabled a single-pass diagnosis of 88 percent (91 percent when including subsequent passes) in suspected tumors of the pancreas when pathologists examined both the histological and cytological yields obtained.[1] No complications were seen in any of the patients.

      The American Cancer Society estimates that 43,920 people in the United States will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2012.[2]  Because of its location deep inside the body and lack of symptoms, pancreatic cancer can be difficult to detect and diagnose in the early stages.[3] Endoscopic ultrasound is an established procedure for diagnosing GI cancers and determining the stage of their development. 

      Most often, a very fine needle is used to gain samples from hard-to-reach areas such as the pancreas, but fine-needle aspiration (FNA) can have limited yield and sensitivity for certain kinds of tumors or in some anatomical locations. Using the 25-gage EchoTip ProCore needle may lead to an increase in diagnosis for pancreatic malignancies on the first pass because of its small size and a modified slow-pull technique for tissue acquisition.