Systematic review of irreversible electroporation role in management of locally advanced pancreatic cancer

Stefano Lafranceschina, Oronzo Brunetti, Antonella Delvecchio, Maria Conticchio, Michele Ammendola, Giuseppe Currò, Tullio Piardi, Nicola De’angelis, Nicola Silvestris, Riccardo Memeo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Ablative techniques provide in patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer (LAPC) symptomatic relief, survival benefit and potential downsizing. Irreversible Electroporation (IRE) represents potentially an ideal solution as no thermal tissue damage occurs. The purpose of this review is to present an overview on safety, feasibility, oncological results, survival and quality of life improvement obtained by IRE. Methods: A systematic search was performed in PubMed, regarding the use of IRE on PC in humans for studies published in English up to March 2019. Results: 15 original studies embodying 691 patients with unresectable LAPC who underwent IRE were included. As emerged, IRE works better on tumour sizes between 3–4 cm. Oncological results are promising: median OS from diagnosis or treatment up to 27 months. Two groups investigated borderline resectable tumours treated with IRE before resection with margin attenuation, whereas IRE has proved to be effective in pain control. Conclusions: Electroporation is bringing new hopes in LAPC management. The first aim of IRE is to offer a palliative treatment. Further efforts are needed for patient selection, as well as the use of IRE for ‘margin accentuation’ during surgical resection. Even if promising, IRE needs to be validated in large, randomized, prospective series.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberE1718
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


  • Irreversible electroporation
  • Locally advanced
  • Pancreas
  • Pancreatic cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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