The proximity of the pancreas to the small bowel presents a unique challenge for pancreatic cancer radiotherapy. Because of the organ’s location, radiation of pancreatic tumors may result in damage of healthy tissue in the duodenum (a section of the intestine that is adjacent to the pancreas).
Stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) addresses this concern with highly precise targeting of the radiation dose – even compensating the track of the beam for breathing and other movement.
To enhance the benefit of SBRT treatment, radiation oncologists Maged Ghaly, MD, and Sewit Teckie, MD, are treating patients using a new dosing and frequency model. The next step will be creating a clinical trial where study participants receive these more localized doses over three days, instead of the standard five- to six-week course, to reduce exposure of the duodenum and spare healthy tissue.