Reyngold M, Parikh P, and Crane CH. Ablative radiation therapy for locally advanced pancreatic cancer: techniques and results. Radiat Oncol 2019; 14(1):95.
Standard doses of conventionally fractionated radiation have had minimal to no impact on the survival duration of patients with locally advanced unresectable pancreatic cancer (LAPC). The use of low-dose stereotactic body radiation (SBRT) in 3- to 5-fractionshas thus far produced a modest improvement in median survival with minimal toxicity and shorter duration of treatment, but failed to produce a meaningful difference at 2 years and beyond. A much higher biologically effective dose (BED) is likely needed to achieve tumor ablation The challenge is the delivery of ablative doses near the very sensitive gastrointestinal tract. Advanced organ motion management, image guidance, and adaptive planning techniques enable delivery of ablative doses of radiation (> = 100Gy BED) when more protracted hypofractionated regimens or advanced image guidance and adaptive planning are used. This approach has resulted in encouraging improvements in survival in several studies. This review will summarize the evolution of the radiation technique over time from conventional to ablative and describe the practical aspects of delivering ablative doses near the GI tract using cone beam CT image (CBCT) guidance and online adaptive MRI guidance.