A needle to 80 degrees for searing a lethal tumor

The Vall d'hebron Hospital investigates together with other european centres, the use of the radio frequency against pancreatic cancer, one of the most deadly

A needle to 80 degrees for searing a lethal tumor

The Vall d'hebron Hospital investigates together with other european centres, the use of the radio frequency against pancreatic cancer, one of the most deadly

pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal and only one out of every five people who contract it can be operated. In the advanced stage, the life expectancy of patients is reduced to an average of just 11 months since being diagnosed. The Hospital Vall d'hebron, in Barcelona, participating in a clinical trial of international scope in which it evaluates the radio frequency for the cases with the worst prognosis, in which the tumour cannot be removed and their effects can only be mitigated with palliative chemotherapy. The practice of pioneer consists of inserting a needle at 80 degrees to burn the cancer cells of the pancreas, a technique considered until now that is dangerous for the patient.

"tumors of the pancreas are located just to the side of the arteries, and mesenteric veins, very important for the organism, and also to the side of the duodenum, with which to radiate heat was something that had always said that was a lot of risk," says Elizabeth Pando, the department of surgery, hepatobiliopancreática of the Vall d'hebron. The doctor emphasized that the study has served to "break a barrier" and prove "that you can do with security", complete with cooling systems to prevent damage to other organs.

The tumor of the pancreas is the third leading cause of cancer death more common in the world and it is believed that it will become the second from next year. In Spain, they are detected 6,700 cases per year. In the absence of showing whether the test is successful, in the Vall d'hebron have established selection criteria to form a group of sick people to intervene.

One of the hypothesis that is examined is whether, the burning of the tumor, it breaks down the stroma -Pando compares with a "shell" that envelops the pancreas to become ill - and released "immune cells that attack" the cancer. The instrumental-invasive which is employed to do this, new to these tumors as aggressive, it is usual to combat other types of cancers, including lung, liver, or kidney disease.

In the interventions that are being experienced are entrusted with a work of extreme precision to a radiologist, to prevent the heat causes internal injuries. "You must be very expert in intraoperative ultrasound to place the needle into the appropriate site to treat the tumor without affecting arteries and veins," says Joaquim Balsells, clinical head of the pancreatic surgery in Vall d'hebron.

The trial started in 2015 and is led by the Academic Medical Center in the Netherlands, is still in the experimental phase. The results are expected to be known in 2021, after extending the treatment of 228 patients from different countries, in which the radiofrequency combined with chemotherapy before and after the operation. To date, 98 ill incorporated in the experiment have been operated on in different european centers that have been added to the research.

Three affected by pancreatic carcinoma in an advanced state have passed during the last few months through surgery in Vall d'hebron. Among them is Maria Jose, a family physician withdrawal after 41 years of work in an outpatient clinic in Barcelona, who was diagnosed with cancer last April. "I knew that survival was small, but not what I was saying. I gave a few to six months of life," says the patient, who accepted to undergo the test: "for good or For evil, was the exit that she had. I had surgery on the 31st of August, and also have given me chemo. I find it very good, practically I can make normal life".

"The first impression is that patients recover much better than expected after the radio frequency and have become to feel strongly, very well," says Balsells. The doctor distinguished, when only is applied to chemotherapy, the patients will feel tired and suffer from discomfort. In any case, Balsells emphasized that require more time to compare the evolution of patients prescribed the experimental method and those who receive only chemotherapy.

In any case, the researchers are optimistic after the first surgery, to which the bank Foundation " La Caixa has provided funds to perform. "If the results confirm what we expect, it will open a great option from 2021 for the sick that can't be operated," noted the chief of service of surgery hepatobiliopancreática of the Vall d'hebron Hospital, dr. Ramon Charco.

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Date Of Update: 14 December 2018, 20:01

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