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Gastroenterology Research and Practice
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 4508376, 10 pages
Review Article

Local Ablative Strategies for Ductal Pancreatic Cancer (Radiofrequency Ablation, Irreversible Electroporation): A Review

1Unit of General Surgery B, The Pancreas Institute, G.B. Rossi Hospital, University of Verona Hospital Trust, Verona, Italy
2Pancreatic Surgical Unit, Casa di Cura Pederzoli, Peschiera del Garda, Verona, Italy

Received 15 July 2015; Revised 28 October 2015; Accepted 13 January 2016

Academic Editor: Bence Sipos

Copyright © 2016 Salvatore Paiella et al. 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.


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) has still a dismal prognosis. Locally advanced pancreatic cancer (LAPC) accounts for the 40% of the new diagnoses. Current treatment options are based on chemo- and radiotherapy regimens. Local ablative techniques seem to be the future therapeutic option for stage-III patients with PDAC. Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) and Irreversible Electroporation (IRE) are actually the most emerging local ablative techniques used on LAPC. Initial clinical studies on the use of these techniques have already demonstrated encouraging results in terms of safety and feasibility. Unfortunately, few studies on their efficacy are currently available. Even though some reports on the overall survival are encouraging, randomized studies are still required to corroborate these findings. This study provides an up-to-date overview and a thematic summary of the current available evidence on the application of RFA and IRE on PDAC, together with a comparison of the two procedures.