Pancreatic cancer is a devastating disease with poor survival outcomes. Recent studies have shown that the addition of radiotherapy to chemotherapy in the setting of locally advanced pancreatic cancer did not improve overall survival outcome. These studies commonly utilize conventional radiotherapy treatment fractionation and technique (typically 3-D conformal radiotherapy or intensity modulated radiotherapy). Although no clear benefit in overall survival was demonstrated in those studies, those who received radiotherapy did have a clear benefit in terms of local control. Therefore, there is increasing interest in exploring different techniques and/or modality of radiotherapy and dose/fractionation. Stereotactic radiotherapy, which employs a hypofractionated regimen, has the potential advantage of delivering a high dose of radiation to the tumor in a short period of time (typically over 5 days) with minimal dose to the surrounding normal structures. Particle therapy such as proton and carbon ion therapy are being explored as potential radiation modality that could cause greater biological damage to the tumor compared to photon treatment, with rapid dose falloff resulting in minimal to no dose to adjacent structures. This review will discuss the current literature and emerging roles of stereotactic radiotherapy and particle therapy in pancreatic cancer.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited