Endoscopic ultrasonography-guided interstitial implantation of iodine 125-seeds combined with chemotherapy in the treatment of unresectable pancreatic carcinoma: a prospective pilot study

Endoscopy. 2008 Apr;40(4):314-20. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-995476. Epub 2008 Feb 19.


Background and study aims: Intraoperative and transdermal ultrasonography-mediated brachytherapy has been proved to be effective in postponing the development of abdominal carcinomas. The main purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical efficacy and safety of endoscopic ultrasonography (EUS)-guided interstitial implantation of radioactive iodine 125 seeds in advanced pancreatic cancer.

Patients and methods: In total, 22 patients with advanced pancreatic cancer and positive fine-needle aspiration results underwent EUS-guided interstitial implantation of iodine seeds. All enrolled patients received routine gemcitabine-based 5-fluorouracil chemotherapy 1 week after brachytherapy.

Results: All 22 patients were successfully implanted with 125I seeds via EUS, with a median of 10 seeds and a maximum of 30 seeds per procedure. The median follow-up time of patients was 9.3 months, and the estimated median survival time was 9.0 months (95 % confidence interval 6.7 - 11.3 months). Partial remission was achieved in three cases (13.6 %) during the 4-week period, and disease in 10 patients (45.5 %) remained stable. Cancer finally progressed in 20 patients, all of whom died during 2 years of follow-up. Visual analog scale pain score dropped from 5.07 +/- 2.63 to 1.73 +/- 1.91 ( P< 0.01) 1 week after brachytherapy but increased again to 3.53 +/- 1.51 1 month later ( P< 0.05 vs. baseline). There were no obvious complications following therapy.

Conclusions: EUS-guided interstitial implantation of 125I seeds may represent a safe alternative treatment option for locally advanced pancreatic cancer. Our preliminary data suggest improvement in pain, but no long-term survival benefit.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Brachytherapy / methods*
  • Carcinoma / diagnostic imaging
  • Carcinoma / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma / radiotherapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Endosonography*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Iodine Radioisotopes / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Iodine Radioisotopes