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A Journal on Surgery

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Minerva Chirurgica 2011 August;66(4):361-9

language: English

Intraoperative radiation therapy on pancreatic cancer patients: a review of the literature

Zygogianni G. A. 1, Kyrgias G. 2, 3, Kouvaris J. 1, Antypas C. 1, Skarlatos J. 3, Armpilia C. 1, Nikiteas N. 4, Kouloulias E. V. 1

1 Kapodistrian University of Athens, Medical School, Radiation Oncology, Athens, Greece;
2 Thessalia University, Medical School, Radiotherapy Dpt, Larissa, Athens, Greece;
3 “Agios Sawwas” Anticancer Hospital, Radiotherapy Department, Greece;
4 LAIKON University Hospital, Surgery Ddt, Athens, Greece


Pancreatic cancer is rarely curable, and the overall survival rate at 5 years is under 4%. This study aimed to assess the efficacy, effectiveness and safety of intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT) as treatment in pancreatic cancer, by means of a systematic review of the literature. We searched Pubmed from 1980 until 2010 by means of prospective randomized trials. The aim was to assess the potential impact of IORT on local control, quality of life and overall survival. The search was restricted to articles published in English. IORT offers the opportunity to administer high doses of irradiation to areas of neoplastic involvement while attempting simultaneously to spare normal tissues in the region from potentially damaging radiation exposure. However, the results were not in favour of IORT in the case of pancreatic cancer in locally advanced and metastatic stages. There is no clear evidence to indicate the IORT as more effective than other therapies in treating pancreatic cancer.

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