Clinical target volume delineation including elective nodal irradiation in preoperative and definitive radiotherapy of pancreatic cancer

Radiat Oncol. 2012 Jun 12:7:86. doi: 10.1186/1748-717X-7-86.


Background: Radiotherapy (RT) is widely used in the treatment of pancreatic cancer. Currently, recommendation has been given for the delineation of the clinical target volume (CTV) in adjuvant RT. Based on recently reviewed pathologic data, the aim of this study is to propose criteria for the CTV definition and delineation including elective nodal irradiation (ENI) in the preoperative and definitive treatment of pancreatic cancer.

Methods: The anatomical structures of interest, as well as the abdominal vasculature were identified on intravenous contrast-enhanced CT scans of two different patients with pancreatic cancer of the head and the body. To delineate the lymph node area, a margin of 10 mm was added to the arteries.

Results: We proposed a set of guidelines for elective treatment of high-risk nodal areas and CTV delineation. Reference CT images were provided.

Conclusions: The proposed guidelines could be used for preoperative or definitive RT for carcinoma of the head and body of the pancreas. Further clinical investigations are needed to validate the defined CTVs.

MeSH terms

  • Anatomic Landmarks / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Lymph Nodes / radiation effects*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / radiotherapy*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / surgery
  • Preoperative Care
  • Radiation Oncology / standards*
  • Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Radiotherapy Planning, Computer-Assisted / standards*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed