Current and emerging radiotherapy strategies for pancreatic adenocarcinoma: stereotactic, intensity modulated and particle radiotherapy
The role of radiotherapy for locally advanced pancreatic cancer (LAPC) is unclear based on studies that used conventional doses and fractionation schedules. Modern radiotherapy techniques have not been studied in depth, however. We reviewed the literature on emerging methods of delivering higher doses of conformal radiotherapy using stereotactic body radiation, intensity modulated radiation, and particle beam radiation, highlighting clinical outcomes and toxicities. The literature review suggests low rates of acute and late toxicities when higher doses of radiation are given with careful attention to normal tissue dose constraints, including for stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT), escalated doses with intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), and particle-based therapy. Retrospective evidence suggests prolonged survival for patients who receive biological equivalent doses above 70 Gy. Prospective trials that evaluate modern radiotherapy techniques are warranted for LAPC.