Intensity-Modulated Radiotherapy in the Treatment of Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma – A Review

Luciana Caravatta,1,6 Gabriella Macchia,1 Francesco Deodato,1 Marco Felicetti,1 Francesco Cellini,2 Antonella Ciabattoni,3 Milly Buwenge,4 Vincenzo Picardi,1 Savino Cilla,5 Andrea Scapati,6 Vincenzo Valentini,7 Alessio G. Morganti1,7

1. Radiation Oncology Department, Fondazione di Ricerca e Cura “Giovanni Paolo II,” Università Cattolica del S. Cuore, Campobasso, Italy
2. Radiotherapy Department, Università Campus Biomedico, Rome, Italy
3. Radiotherapy Departement, S. Filippo Neri Hospital, Rome, Italy
4. Radiotherapy Department, Mulago Hospital, Kampala, Uganda
5. Medical Physics Unit, Fondazione di Ricerca e Cura “Giovanni Paolo II,” Università Cattolica del S. Cuore, Campobasso, Italy
6. Radiation Oncology Department, “San Francesco” Hospital, Nuoro, Italy
7. Radiotherapy Department, Università Cattolica del S. Cuore, Roma, Italy

Disclosure: No potential conflict of interest.
Received: 03.09.13 Accepted: 28.10.13
Citation: EMJ Oncol. 2013;1:90-97.


Pancreatic cancer remains one of the leading causes of cancer deaths. Despite improvements in imaging, surgical techniques, chemotherapy agents, and radiation techniques, the prognosis for patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma remains poor. Traditionally, radiotherapy (RT) has been utilized as neoadjuvant, adjuvant, or definitive treatment, and represents an important therapeutic option in pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), a more recent RT technique, has the potential to deliver an adequate dose to the tumour volume with a minimal dose to the surrounding critical structures such as duodenum, small intestine, liver, kidneys, and spinal cord. This article provides a review about the role of IMRT in the treatment of pancreatic cancer, concerning clinical outcomes such as toxicity, local control, and overall survival.

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