Irreversible Electroporation (IRE) Combined With Chemotherapy Increases Survival in Locally Advanced Pancreatic Cancer (LAPC).

Journal Article (Journal Article)


Locally advanced pancreatic cancer (LAPC) is found in about 40% of patients with pancreatic cancer. Irreversible electroporation (IRE) is a nonthermal ablative technique that provides an alternative in patients with LAPC and can be safely combined with chemotherapy.

Materials and methods

From 2015 until October of 2019, we performed laparotomic IRE in a total of 40 patients with stage III LAPC. The median age of these patients was 65.2 years (range: 46 to 81 y), and the median tumor size was 3.8 cm (range: 2 to 5.2 cm). 33 of 40 patients were treated preoperatively with FOLFIRINOX or nab-paclitaxel plus gemcitabine and in case of disease control, IRE was performed, whereas in 7 patients, IRE was performed without previous chemotherapy.


All patients were treated successfully with IRE as the tumor evaluation showed no disease progression after the completion of induction chemotherapy. No IRE-related deaths occurred. Two major grade III complications were reported: pancreatic fistula grade A in 8 patients and 3 patients diagnosed with delayed gastric emptying. Up to October 31, 2019, the median overall survival (OS) of all patients was 24.2 months (range: 6 to 36 mo), and the median progression-free survival was 10.3 months (range: 3 to 24 mo). After the completion of IRE, 30 patients (75%) continued with adjuvant chemotherapy. Fifteen patients (37%) have >24 months OS and 3 patients (8%) have reached 36 months OS and are still alive.


The combination of chemotherapy with IRE, which is a safe and effective procedure, may result in a survival benefit for patients with LAPC.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Oikonomou, D; Karamouzis, MV; Moris, D; Dimitrokallis, N; Papamichael, D; Kountourakis, P; Astras, G; Davakis, S; Papalampros, A; Schizas, D; Petrou, AS; Felekouras, E

Published Date

  • July 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 44 / 7

Start / End Page

  • 325 - 330

PubMed ID

  • 33979098

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1537-453X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0277-3732

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/coc.0000000000000826


  • eng