An Easier, Safer, and More Accurate Treatment for Pancreatic Cancer

NCCC

April 2, 2014

Using CT scans with contrast enhancement, Dartmouth researchers measured treatment response to pancreatic cancer photodynamic therapy (PDT) according to a paper published in Physics in Medicine and Biology.

The research team at Dartmouth set out to reduce the imaging obstacles for PDT, a minimally invasive and nontoxic treatment for cancer. "This study implies that treatment response can be reliably predicted using contrast CT. This would represent a major breakthrough in PDT for pancreas cancer that allows for easier, faster treatment tailored to an individual," said Brian W. Pogue, PhD, a researcher at Norris Cotton Cancer Center and professor at Dartmouth's Thayer School of Engineering and Geisel School of Medicine.

The treatment response was related to pre-treatment images. "Basically, the more contrast uptake seen, the less the treatment had an effect," said Pogue. "We interpret this to mean that cancers with a high amount of blood volume and flow are harder to treat with this therapy."...

..."The goals of the trial were simply to ensure that photodynamic therapy could ablate regions of tumor where the fiber was implanted. In a follow up study, we plan to study the relative effectiveness of killing the pancreas cancer specifically more than the normal surrounding pancreas," said Pogue.

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