Last Modified: November 1, 2001
Dear OncoLink "Ask the Experts,"
I understand there is a new treatment for pancreatic cancer, which involves injecting radioactive isotopes or pellets into the actual tumor with little or no side effects.
Do you have any idea who may be treating the disease in this way?
Li Liu, MD Editorial Assistant for OncoLink, responds:
Thank you for your question and interest.
The treatment you have asked about is known as Intra-tumoral colloidal radioactive P32 delivery. This has been used for non-resectable pancreatic cancer without metastases. It was first introduced by Dr. Stanley E. Order at Cooper Hospital in Camden, New Jersey.
Patients with a biopsy proven diagnosis of adenocarcinoma of the pancreas which was limited to the head, body, or tail of the pancreas, tumor not greater than 5cm in diameter (and deemed non-resectable) were eligible for their study. Patients with previous treatment with chemotherapy, radiation to the pancreas, liver or gastrointestinal tract, histology other than adenocarcinoma, cirrhosis, tumor invasion of the stomach or duodenum, a history of inflammatory bowel disease or abdominal or distant metastases were ineligibility for this study.
In this study radioactive P32 was injected under CT guidance into the pancreatic tumor. This procedure could be repeated one week later. The patients in their study also received external beam radiation therapy in combination with concomitant 5-FU chemotherapy. The preliminary report has shown some promising results. The study was presented at the most recent Annual Meeting of American Society of Therapeutic Radiation Oncology (ASTRO).