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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 83-100

Systematic review of endoscopy ultrasound-guided thermal ablation treatment for pancreatic cancer

1 Division of Pancreato-Biliary Endoscopy and Endosonography, Pancreas Translational and Clinical Research Center, San Raffaele Scientific Institute IRCCS, Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, Milan, Italy
2 Department of Clinical Surgery, University of Edinburgh, Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH16 4SA, Scotland
3 Department of Internal Medicine, Hirslanden Hospitals Berne Beau Site, Salem and Permanence, Berne, Switzerland

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Christoph F Dietrich
Department Allgemeine Innere Medizin, Kliniken Beau Site, Salem und Permanence, Hirslanden, Berne
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/eus.eus_74_19

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The development of curvilinear-array EUS and EUS-guided fine-needle aspiration (EUS-FNA) has led these approaches to become interventional procedures rather than purely diagnostic, as a minimally invasive antitumor therapeutic alternative to radiological and surgical treatments. The possibility to accurately position needle devices and to reach a deep target like the pancreas gland under real-time imaging guidance has expanded the use of EUS to ablate tumors. Currently, a variety of probes specifically designed for EUS ablation are available, including radiofrequency, hybrid cryothermal ablation (combining radiofrequency with cryotechnology), photodynamic therapy, and laser ablation. To date, several studies have demonstrated the safety and feasibility of these ablation techniques in the pancreatic setting, but only a few small series on pancreatic thermal ablation under EUS guidance are available. EUS-guided thermal ablation is primarily used for pancreatic cancer. It is well suited to this disease because of its superior anatomical access compared with other imaging modalities and the dismal prognosis despite improvements in chemoradiotherapy and surgery in the management of pancreatic cancer. Other targets are pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors and pancreatic cystic neoplasms, which are curable by surgical resection, but some patients are poor surgical candidates or prefer conservative management. This is a literature review of previously published clinical studies on EUS-guided thermal ablative therapies. Data on the long-term efficacy of EUS-guided antitumor thermal ablation therapy and large prospective randomized studies are still needed to confirm the real clinical benefits of these techniques for the management of pancreatic neoplasms.

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