|Funding||NIHR Grant, along with Angiodynamics|
|Status||Funding awarded/in set-up|
Surgery (pancreatic resection) is the only treatment with the potential to cure pancreatic cancer. Only 10 to 20 out of every 100 people are eligible for Surgery. One of the major reasons is that the cancer has invaded the surrounding structures (locally advanced pancreatic cancer (LAPC)). Currently, the recommended treatment for LAPC is chemotherapy (drugs which destroy cancer). Those in whom the chemotherapy prevents growth or spread of the cancer have an improved survival. They are re-assessed for Surgery but the cancer usually remains unresectable. Irreversible electroporation (IRE) is a method of destroying cancer cells by electricity. Under anaesthetic the IRE probes are inserted into the pancreas cancer prior to an electrical charge being passed through the cancer. Early studies show that IRE may increase how long people with LAPC live. However there are also major complications which may result from this treatment resulting in uncertainty on its use.
We are proposing to run a small-scale study (a “feasibility study”) that will recruit 50 people with LAPC whose disease has remained localised but is unresectable following initial chemotherapy. All will be offered further best treatment according to centre protocols and half will also be offered IRE. We will assess whether patients are willing to participate in this study. We will follow the study participants for 12 months assessing quality of life and cancer response from imaging.
The main purpose of this study is to collect information which will be used to design a larger study to determine whether IRE is beneficial and whether it provides value for money. Two patient representatives have been involved in the design of this study and will be actively involved in trial management and the dissemination of results.