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RadioFrequency Ablation for Locally Advanced Pancreatic Cancer

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“Radiofrequency ablation has been increasingly applied in the management of unresectable pancreatic cancer. Both intraoperative and percutaneous RFA have shown the acceptable clinical and technical success rate..”

Image result for image of radiofrequency ablation of pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer is one of several cancers that conventional oncology has little to offer. By this I mean that standard, FDA approved therapies offer only modest improvements in average life expectancies.

While I rarely if ever advocate purely alternative cancer therapies, I do advocate complementary and integrative therapies when the circumstances necessitate them.

As always, both careful diagnostic testing as well as a second opinion are important.

This is anecdotal but the longest two pancreatic cancer survivor stories I know of are:

  1. early stage pancreatic cancer surgery that cured the patients and
  2. unresectable pancreatic cancer that was radiated and then shrunk enough to surgically remove the tumor- not curative but a 7 year survival with real quality of life

Testing for genetic mutations continues to reveal information to cancer patients. The study linked below talks about SMAD4 analysis in locally advanced pancreatic cancer patients as being a possible positive prognostic indicator.

The bottom line is that the bad news is that you have pancreatic cancer. The good news is that if you test for SMAD4 you may respond well to radio frequency ablation.

As for complementary or integrative therapies, the last study linked and excerpted below cites curcumin as both a non-conventional therapy to kill pancreatic cancer cells as well as curcumin’s ability to enhance the efficacy of certain chemotherapy drugs.

I supplement and recommend Life Extension SuperBio Curcumin because of its enhanced bioavailability.

I am both a cancer survivor and cancer coach. Please scroll down the page, post a question or comment and I will reply to you ASAP.

thank you,

David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:

Radiofrequency ablation for locally advanced pancreatic cancer: SMAD4 analysis segregates a responsive subgroup of patients

“Purpose– SMAD4 mutational status correlates with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) failure pattern. We investigated in a subset of locally advanced patients submitted to radiofrequency ablation (RFA) whether the assessment of SMAD4 status is a useful way to select the patients…

Methods- Clinical, radiological, and follow-up details of patients submitted to RFA for locally advanced pancreatic cancer (LAPC), in whom cytohistological material was available at our institution, were retrospectively retrieved. SMAD4 expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and considered “negative” or “positive…

Results- The study population consisted of 30 patients. Thirteen patients (43.3%) received RFA upfront, whereas 17 (56.7%) after induction treatments. SMAD4 was mutant in 18 out of 30 patients (60%). The overall estimated post-RFA disease-specific survival (DSS) was 15 months (95% CI 11.64–18.35). The estimated post-RFA DSS of patients with wild-type and mutant SMAD4 was 22 and 12 months, respectively…

Conclusions- Within patients undergoing RFA for LAPC, SMAD4 analysis could segregate a subgroup of subjects with improved survival, who likely benefited from tumor ablation.

Role of Radiofrequency Ablation in the Management of Unresectable Pancreatic Cancer

“Pancreatic cancer is one of the most aggressive malignancies of the digestive tract and carries a poor prognosis. The majority of patients have advanced disease at the time of diagnosis. Surgical resection offers the only curative treatment, but only a small proportion of patients can undergo surgical resection.

Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a well-known modality in the management of solid organ tumors, however, its utility in the management of pancreatic cancer is under investigation. Since the past decade, there is increasing use of RFA as it provides a feasible palliation treatment in the management of unresectable pancreatic cancer.

RFA causes tumor cytoreduction through multiple mechanisms such as coagulative necrosis, protein denaturation, and activation of anticancer immunity. The safety profile of RFA is controversial because of the high risk for complications, however, small prospective and retrospective studies have shown promising results in its applicability for palliative management of unresectable pancreatic malignancies. In this review, we discuss different approaches of RFA, their indications, technical accessibility, safety, and major complications in the management of unresectable pancreatic cancer…

Conclusions- Radiofrequency ablation has been increasingly applied in the management of unresectable pancreatic cancer. Both intraoperative and percutaneous RFA have shown the acceptable clinical and technical success rate, however clinical safety and risks of serious adverse events is concerning. With the development of more effective chemotherapy regimen and recent advancement of endoscopic devises, application of endoscopic RFA has shown promising results in the palliation of unresectable pancreatic cancer. EUS-RFA is relatively safer than intraoperative and percutaneous approach with a higher clinical and technical success rate and less risk of adverse events. Currently, large prospective studies to assess long term impact of RFA on quality of life and survival are lacking. This warrants the need for prospective clinical trials in the future to validate its role in pancreatic cancer.

Therapeutic applications of curcumin for patients with pancreatic cancer

“A number of preclinical studies have demonstrated anticancer effects for curcumin in various types of tumors, including pancreatic cancer. Curcumin has anticancer effects both alone and in combination with other anticancer drugs (e.g., gemcitabine, 5-fluorouracil, and oxaliplatin), and it has been shown to modulate a variety of molecular targets in preclinical models, with more than 30 molecular targets identified to date.

Of these various molecules, NF-κB is thought to be one of the primary targets of curcumin activity. Based on these promising preclinical results, several research groups, including our own, have progressed to testing the anticancer effects of curcumin in clinical trials; however, the poor bioavailability of this agent has been the major challenge for its clinical application. Despite the ingestion of gram-level doses of curcumin, plasma curcumin levels remain at low (ng/mL) levels in patients, which is insufficient to yield the anticancer benefits of curcumin…

CONCLUSION- A growing body of evidence supports the idea that curcumin is a promising anticancer drug. In preclinical models, curcumin has been shown to have anticancer effects, both alone and in combination with other anticancer drugs, through the modulation of a variety of molecular targets. However, the poor bioavailability of curcumin has been the major challenge to its clinical application. This problem has now been solved by the development of highly bioavailable forms of curcumin (THERACURMIN®), which can induce higher plasma curcumin levels without increased toxicity. Further clinical trials will be necessary to test the therapeutic applications of this promising agent in patients with pancreatic cancer.”

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