Pancreatic Cancer Study Shows Potential Survival Benefit
Focused ultrasound (FUS) is a potentially safe and effective treatment modality and may increase survival in unresectable pancreatic cancer, according to a study recently published in Ultrasonics Sonochemistry.
In “Ultrasound Guided HIFU for malignant tumors: The Spanish experience of survival advantage in stage III and IV pancreatic cancer,” Dr. Joan Vidal-Jove and his Barcelona group treated 43 unresectable malignant pancreatic tumors (29 stage III and 14 stage IV) with ultrasound-guided FUS ablation in combination with adjuvant chemotherapy from March 2010 to December 2013.
Ablation was achieved in 82% of the tumors, with the responses lasting 8 weeks post-procedure. At the end of the combined treatment, 11 patients (25%) had complete responses (9 Stage III and 2 Stage IV). Major complications included one case of severe pancreatitis with GI bleeding and two cases of third degree skin burns that required plastic surgery. The median survival was 13 months (6 months to 2.7 years). The Kaplan-Meier curve showed 33.5% survival for 4.2 years in patients treated with FUS plus chemotherapy.
“We are very satisfied with these results,” said Dr. Vidal-Jove. “The work of our team proves that focused ultrasound helps patients with unresectable pancreatic cancer, improving their survival with a less aggressive approach. We are planning a multicenter study comparing standard treatment with chemotherapy versus focused ultrasound plus chemotherapy in this group of patients.”
READ MORE ABOUT FUS RESEARCH FOR PANCREATIC CANCER IN JAPAN & CHINA >
READ A PROFILE OF DR. VIDAL-JOVE >
WATCH A SHORT VIDEO OF DR. VIDAL-JOVE DESCRIBING HIS STUDY>