Patients benefit from new treatment for pancreatic and liver cancers, and sarcomas

Patients Benefit From New Treatment for Pancreatic and Liver Cancers, and Sarcomas

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A team of masked and gowned healthcare professionals prepares to use the Mobetron interoperative radiation therapy equipment on a patient in the operating room at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.

Region’s only IntraOp® Mobetron® now at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital offers new hope for cancer treatment during complex surgery

WASHINGTON - Patients with pancreatic and liver cancers, or sarcomas, can now benefit from intraoperative radiation therapy, a leading-edge adjunct therapy that studies have shown reduces disease recurrence and improves outcomes for patients with these aggressive cancers. MedStar Georgetown University Hospital is the only hospital in the mid-Atlantic region providing this technology with the IntraOp® Mobetron®, the most advanced intraoperative radiation therapy technology, which is applied directly to the targeted area or tumor one time, during surgery, in just minutes, and sparing surrounding normal tissue. This combination of complex surgery and intraoperative radiation therapy provides another opportunity to cure more patients with locally advanced disease.

“This state-of-the-art therapy allows us to continue providing the best and most effective technology and treatment to patients with these aggressive cancers,” said Thomas M. Fishbein MD, director, Center for Liver and Pancreas Surgery at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, and professor of surgery, Georgetown University School of Medicine. “This therapy offers patients hope for better outcomes and decreases the chances of the cancer returning. Intraoperative radiation therapy with the IntraOp Mobetron is an important part of our unique, multidisciplinary treatment approach.”

The goal of intraoperative radiation therapy is to reduce the risk of cancer regrowth after initial treatments or tumor resection and improve cancer control overall. Through collaboration by a multidisciplinary team of surgeons and radiation oncologists, candidates for intraoperative radiation therapy -- patients who will undergo surgery for pancreatic and liver tumors or sarcomas -- are first evaluated by MedStar Georgetown’s multidisciplinary team of pancreatic and liver cancer specialists to determine if intraoperative radiation therapy is right for them. The application of this therapy is a one-time procedure during surgery that is applied either directly to the tumor, or to the tumor bed and margins once the tumor is removed over just a matter of minutes. Patients often receive chemotherapy or other leading-edge treatments prior to and after this treatment.

Patients treated with intraoperative radiation therapy with the IntraOp Mobetron for pancreatic cancer and related tumors benefit from:

  • extension of survival and lower recurrence rates—researchers found that using intraoperative radiation therapy in pancreatic cancer patients undergoing surgery was associated with median survival of nearly one year more than those who did not receive this therapy but received standard therapy*
  • safer treatment with fewer side effects—intraoperative radiation therapy has been proven as safe, painless, and effective when combined with a pancreatic operation*
  • shorter treatment duration—intraoperative radiation therapy can be completed in a matter of minutes during surgery either directly to the tumor or to the surgical site once the tumor is removed*

    *Keane FK, Wo JY, Ferrone CR, et al. “Intraoperative Radiotherapy in the Era of Intensive Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy and Chemoradiotherapy for Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma [published online October 12, 2016]. Am J Clin Oncol. Am J Clin Oncol. doi: 10.1097/COC.0000000000000336

There are currently more than 57,000 new cases of pancreatic cancer diagnosed each year and it is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. Despite improvements and advancements in treatment options, pancreatic cancer accounts for 8% of all cancer deaths.

While surgery offers the best opportunity for a cure, a large percentage of pancreatic cancer patients have locally advanced disease which could eliminate the ability to completely remove the tumor. The combination of complex surgery and intraoperative radiation therapy provides another opportunity to cure more patients with locally advanced disease.

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital offers state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment options through multidisciplinary clinics and broad availability of targeted clinical trials for cancer. A component of the MedStar Georgetown Transplant Institute, the Center for Liver and Pancreas Surgery is one of the top 10 centers in the nation. The Department of Radiation Medicine at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital provides advanced radiation therapy services and is an integral part of the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, the only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated comprehensive cancer center in the Washington, D.C., area.

About MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

Interviews with experts about intraoperative radiation therapy