Percutaneous Radiofrequency Ablation of Unresectable Locally Advanced Pancreatic Cancer: Preliminary Results

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The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of percutaneous radiofrequency ablation of locally advanced pancreatic cancer located in the pancreatic body.

Materials and Methods:

Patients with biopsy-proven locally advanced pancreatic adenocarcinoma were considered for percutaneous radiofrequency ablation. Postprocedural computed tomography studies and Ca19.9 tumor marker evaluation were performed at 24 hours and 1 month. At computed tomography, treatment effect was evaluated by excluding the presence of complications. The technical success of the procedure is defined at computed tomography as the achievement of tumoral ablated area.


Twenty-three patients have been included in the study. Five of the 23 patients were excluded. At computed tomography, the mean size of the intralesional postablation necrotic area was 32 mm (range: 15-65 mm). Technical success of the procedure has been obtained in 16 (93%) of the 18 cases. None of the patients developed postprocedural complications. Mean Ca19.9 serum levels 1 day before, 1 day after, and 1 month after the procedure were 285.8 U/mL (range: 16.6-942.0 U/mL), 635.2 U/mL (range: 17.9-3368.0 U/mL), and 336.0 U/mL (range: 7.0-1400.0 U/mL), respectively. Follow-up duration was less than 6 months for 11 patients and more than 6 months for 7 patients. At the time of the draft of this article, the mean survival of the patients included in the study was 185 days (range: 62-398 days).


Percutaneous radiofrequency ablation of locally advanced adenocarcinoma has a high technical success rate and is effective in cytoreduction both at imaging and laboratory controls.

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