Radiofrequency ablation of unresectable pancreatic carcinoma: feasibility, efficacy and safety.

JOP : Journal of the pancreas

PubMedID: 16407624

Varshney S, Sewkani A, Sharma S, Kapoor S, Naik S, Sharma A, Patel K. Radiofrequency ablation of unresectable pancreatic carcinoma: feasibility, efficacy and safety. JOP. 2006;7(1):74-8.
CONTEXT
Unresectable pancreatic cancer has a dismal prognosis. Palliative surgery and chemo-radiotherapy have not produced significant improvement in survival. We evaluated the safety and the efficacy of radiofrequency ablation for cytoreduction of unresectable tumors of the pancreas.

CASE REPORT
Radiofrequency ablation was performed in three patients with histologically proven unresectable cancer of the pancreas: two females and one male; 48, 60, and 66 years of age (mean 58 years). The sizes of the pancreatic tumors were 5.0, 6.5, and 8.0 cm (mean 6.5 cm), respectively. Two patients underwent radiofrequency ablation during an open operation while one patient had percutaneous CT guided radiofrequency ablation. All had endobiliary stenting for obstructive jaundice. Partial necrosis (up to 3 cm) of the tumor was achieved in all cases. There was no major morbidity or mortality. Self-limiting minor complications occurred in two patients.

CONCLUSION
Radiofrequency ablation is a local ablative method used with increasing frequency and may be used safely for cytoreduction in locally advanced inoperable pancreatic malignancies. Further studies are required to ascertain whether this can improve survival/quality of life alone or in combination with other therapies.