What is the role of local ablation in the treatment of pancreatic cancer?

Updated: Oct 02, 2020
  • Author: Tomislav Dragovich, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: N Joseph Espat, MD, MS, FACS  more...
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In patients with unresectable locally advanced pancreatic cancer, local ablation has been explored as a treatment option. A systematic review concluded that the following strategies appear to be feasible and safe [64] :

  • Radiofrequency ablation (RFA)
  • Irreversible electroporation
  • Stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT)
  • High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU)
  • Iodine-125
  • Iodine-125–cryosurgery
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • Microwave ablation

Several of these ablative techniques have been shown to provide pain relief and improved survival. For example, medial survival of up to 25.6 months with RFA and 24.0 months with SBRT has been reported. Promising quality-of-life outcomes have been reported for SBRT. [64]

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