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Br J Surg. 2010 Feb;97(2):220-5. doi: 10.1002/bjs.6800.

Feasibility and safety of radiofrequency ablation for locally advanced pancreatic cancer.

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Hepatopancreatobiliary Unit, University of Verona, Verona, Italy.



: Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) may be a valuable treatment option for locally advanced pancreatic cancer. The present study examined its feasibility and safety.


: Fifty patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer were studied prospectively. Ultrasound-guided RFA was performed during laparotomy. The main outcome measures were short-term morbidity and mortality.


: The tumour was located in the pancreatic head or uncinate process in 34 patients and in the body or tail in 16; median diameter was 40 (interquartile range 30-50) mm. RFA was the only treatment in 19 patients. RFA was combined with biliary and gastric bypass in 19 patients, gastric bypass alone in eight, biliary bypass alone in three and pancreaticojejunostomy in one. The 30-day mortality rate was 2 per cent. Abdominal complications occurred in 24 per cent of patients; in half they were directly associated with RFA and treated conservatively. Three patients with surgery-related complications needed reoperation. Reduction of RFA temperature from 105 degrees C to 90 degrees C resulted in a significant reduction in complications (ten versus two of 25 patients; P = 0.028). Median postoperative hospital stay was 10 (range 7-31) days.


: RFA of locally advanced pancreatic cancer is feasible and relatively well tolerated, with a 24 per cent complication rate.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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