Percutaneous irreversible electroporation with systemic treatment for locally advanced pancreatic adenocarcinoma

J Gastrointest Oncol. 2018 Apr;9(2):275-281. doi: 10.21037/jgo.2018.01.14.


Background: The prognosis for unresectable locally advanced pancreatic adenocarcinoma (LAPC) remains poor. There is increasing interest in modern ablative techniques to improve outcomes. We report on the potential value of integrating percutaneous irreversible electroporation (IRE) in patients undergoing systemic chemotherapy.

Methods: Seventy-five patients with unresectable pancreatic carcinoma underwent percutaneous IRE after chemotherapy using computerised tomography guidance under general anaesthesia. Postoperative immediate and 30-day morbidity and mortality, progression-free (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were evaluated.

Results: Post-procedural immediate and 30-day mortality rates were both zero. All-grade adverse events were 25%. Median in-patient stay was 1 day (range, 1-5 days). Median OS and PFS post-IRE for LAPC were 27 and 15 months respectively. Four patients with LAPC down-staged post-IRE ablation to be surgically resectable, with R0 resections in 3 cases.

Conclusions: These results suggest that percutaneous IRE ablation of unresectable LAPC is safe to integrate with standard-of-care chemotherapy and may improve survival, which provides a template for further evaluation in prospective randomized clinical trials.

Keywords: NanoKnife; Pancreas; ablation; electroporation; pancreatic cancer.