The Four Stages Of Pancreatic Cancer

1998 Words 8 Pages
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth most deadly cancer for men and women in the United States [1]. A major cause of the poor prognosis is the difficulty of detection prior to advanced stages of the disease. Pancreatic cancer is diagnosed into one of four stages based on the location of the tumor and how much it has spread. Often the first symptoms a patient feels are pain and discomfort due to an enlarged tumor. Additional symptoms may include weight loss or jaundice depending on the location of the tumor. At this point, when the symptoms become noticeable, the tumor has likely impacted surrounding structures and vessels and possibly spread to other areas of the body. While universal screening has been suggested in order to increase earlier detection, …show more content…
For example, within chemotherapy, multiple agents are combined into a single cocktail to treat cancer. Combining multiple agents increases efficiency because different agents target different phases of the cell cycle [ref]. Similarly, Mukai et. al showed that the combination of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) and radiation therapy shows promise for large lung cancers [5]. He describes a synergy in which one procedure compliments the second by improving efficiency. Radiation therapy is relatively ineffective during certain phases of the cell cycle. The synergy of RFA and radiation therapy is likely due to cells which are radiosensitized by thermal therapy. Cells remain radiosensitized for up to 24 hours, therefore the efficiency of radiation therapy is increased during that window. This effect is summarized by Dewhirst et al in his review of the effects of thermal therapy [6]. The increased effectiveness of combining multiple modes of treatment is frequently time-dependent, as described for RFA and radiation therapy. Tight coupling of multiple modes or treatment are necessary for effective treatment …show more content…
It uses physical markers, or fiducials, which are surgically embedded in and around a tumor to locate it within the body. With the assistance of the fiducials, high doses of radiation can be delivered to the tumor with submillimeter accuracy. In recent years, real time imaging of the fiducials allows SBRT to account for a tumor’s movement caused by breathing. Typical markers are small gold cylinders roughly 0.8 x 5mm. They are placed in a tumor and around its periphery to allow imaging to generate a 4D map of the tumor in the body during respiration. Fiducial markers are limited by two factors: low visibility and movement after placement. First, poor placement may result in low visibility due to poor alignment or markers which overlap on images. Overlapping markers limit the ability to generate a 3D image. Second, the markers frequently shift or settle after their initial placement. While the initial placement of the markers may be ideal for imaging, movement of the markers may results in reduced visibility. SBRT has proven to be an effective form of treatment and has been greatly improved by visible markers to track the tumors location. Performing SBRT with an highly visible marker, closely following RFA, will take advantage of the radiosensitivity of the tissue and increase the effectiveness of the

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