Dr. Narang Discusses Role of Radiation in Pancreatic Cancer

Amol K. Narang, MD
Published: Thursday, Jan 17, 2019



Amol K. Narang, MD, assistant professor of radiation oncology and molecular radiation sciences, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins Medicine, discusses the role of radiation therapy in the treatment of patients with pancreatic cancer.

For patients with particularly aggressive pancreatic adenocarcinoma, even the most potent chemotherapy regimens will not shrink the tumor enough for it to be resected. In this case, Narang says radiation therapy could have a role in the back end of chemotherapy, although there are no data from randomized trials to suggest that. It is crucial to try to reduce local spreading of the cancer in terms of quality of life and survival, Narang adds.

Additionally, oncologists should be giving higher doses of radiation to patients with pancreatic cancer. The current doses are limited by the close proximity of sensitive organs, such as the bowel and stomach. Narang says researchers can look to other tumor types like lung cancer, where higher doses of radiation have been effective in terms of eventual resection. There are several related efforts ongoing in GI cancers currently, he concludes.
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Amol K. Narang, MD, assistant professor of radiation oncology and molecular radiation sciences, Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, Johns Hopkins Medicine, discusses the role of radiation therapy in the treatment of patients with pancreatic cancer.

For patients with particularly aggressive pancreatic adenocarcinoma, even the most potent chemotherapy regimens will not shrink the tumor enough for it to be resected. In this case, Narang says radiation therapy could have a role in the back end of chemotherapy, although there are no data from randomized trials to suggest that. It is crucial to try to reduce local spreading of the cancer in terms of quality of life and survival, Narang adds.

Additionally, oncologists should be giving higher doses of radiation to patients with pancreatic cancer. The current doses are limited by the close proximity of sensitive organs, such as the bowel and stomach. Narang says researchers can look to other tumor types like lung cancer, where higher doses of radiation have been effective in terms of eventual resection. There are several related efforts ongoing in GI cancers currently, he concludes.

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