Elisabeth Manville
Mar 26, 2012

New treatment could destroy inoperable pancreatic tumors

The results of a study presented at the the Society of Interventional Radiology’s 37th Annual Scientific Meeting show that a new procedure could be used to treat pancreatic cancer tumors. Irreversible electroporation, or IRE, uses microsecond electrical pulses that break open cell membranes, effectively killing the cancerous tissues around the network of blood vessels in and surrounding the pancreas. The technique has already been used successfully in treating liver cancer and is now in the first stages of implementation as a treatment for pancreatic cancer. “With this procedure, there is the potential to have the tumor peeled off the blood vessels, and follow up treatment to repair the affected area of the pancreas,” Govindarajan Narayanan, professor of radiology at University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine, said. Pancreatic tumors are difficult to treat there is too much of a risk attached to any treatment that uses heat or cold, as it could damage important blood vessels in and around the organ.