Pancreatic adenocarcinoma is one of the most fatal cancers, characterized by aggressive tumor growth and a short patient survival time between diagnosis and death. Safe and effective treatment options are limited, especially in cases when surgical resection is not possible. Irreversible electroporation (IRE) is a non-thermal ablation technique recently introduced in the treatment of pancreatic cancer. From 2013 to 2016, 29 cases of locally advanced pancreatic cancer (LAPC) treated with IRE were retrospectively analyzed and the median overall survival (OS) rates were compared with patients with the same diagnosis who received standard chemotherapy as reported in the literature. Literature was selected according to a predetermined protocol. Secondarily, preoperative and postoperative Karnofsky scores of the 29 IRE-treated patients were compared to determine improvement in quality-of-life. Median OS of IRE-treated patients was 14 months (SE 11 months, 95% CI range 9.86–18.14). For IRE-treated patients, the Karnofsky score increased from Tzero to T3m by a mean of 28.28 (SE 2.11, 95% CI range 23.95–32.60). In 27 patients, 6-month imaging follow-up showed a mean lesion volumetric decrease percentage of 40.32% (SE 2.76, 95% CI 34.63–46.01%). Treatment with IRE followed by chemotherapy substantially increases median OS rate and quality-of-life of LAPC-diagnosed patients when compared to patients treated with traditional methods, including chemotherapy. Further investigation of this multi-modal treatment is warranted.
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