Locally Advanced Pancreatic Cancer: Percutaneous Management Using Ablation, Brachytherapy, Intra-arterial Chemotherapy, and Intra-tumoral Immunotherapy

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Purpose of Review: Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is one of the most aggressive neoplasms, bearing a terrible prognosis. Stage III tumors, also known as locally advanced pancreatic cancer (LAPC), are unresectable, and current palliative chemotherapy regimens have only modestly improved survival in these patients. At this stage of disease, interventional techniques may be of value and further prolong life. The aim of this review was to explore current literature on locoregional percutaneous management for LAPC. Recent Findings: Locoregional percutaneous interventional techniques such as ablation, brachytherapy, and intra-arterial chemotherapy possess cytoreductive abilities and have the potential to increase survival. In addition, recent research demonstrates the immunomodulatory capacities of these treatments. This immune response may be leveraged by combining the interventional techniques with intra-tumoral immunotherapy, possibly creating a durable anti-tumor effect. This multimodality treatment approach is currently being examined in several ongoing clinical trials. Summary: The use of certain interventional techniques appears to improve survival in LAPC patients and may work synergistically when combined with immunotherapy. However, definitive conclusions can only be made when large prospective (randomized controlled) trials confirm these results.

Original languageEnglish
Article number68
Pages (from-to)68
JournalCurrent oncology reports
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • Ablation
  • Brachytherapy
  • Cryoablation
  • Intra-arterial chemotherapy
  • Intra-tumoral immunotherapy
  • Irreversible electroporation
  • Locally advanced pancreatic cancer
  • Microwave ablation
  • Radiofrequency ablation

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