February 25, 2021 • 2 Min

Adding Focused Radiation to Standard Pancreatic Cancer Treatment

Cancer cells in green and blue

David Kashatus; National Cancer Institute / Univ. of Virginia Cancer Center

Will a specialized type of radiation treatment be effective for pancreatic cancer that cannot be removed surgically?

Researchers are testing a type of radiation treatment given during surgery. This radiation treatment can closely target a tumor, causing less damage to surrounding tissues.

What Is IORT?

Electron beam intraoperative radiation therapy, or IORT, delivers radiation directly to the tumor during open surgery. The radiation dose is higher than the dose in external radiation treatments. But because it targets only the tumor and nearby organs and tissues can be shielded or moved away from the radiation beams it causes less damage to healthy tissues.

Because pancreatic tumors often involve the nearby major blood vessels, a technique that focuses closely on the tumor may stop the cancer from growing without damaging adjacent tissue. IORT is already approved for use in colorectal, breast, head and neck cancers, and sarcomas.

More about this trial

This trial is for patients with pancreatic cancer that cannot be surgically removed because of blood vessel involvement. All participants will receive treatment with IORT after three to six months of standard chemotherapy (FOLFIRINOX or gemcitabine/nab-paclitaxel) and radiation (external beam or stereotactic body radiation therapy). Researchers are looking at overall survival and progression of the pancreatic cancer.

We encourage you to consult your physicians for clinical trials that may be right for you. The website provides more details about this trial as well as many others. You can visit the EmergingMed Trial Finder for a listing of all active pancreatic cancer clinical trials.

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