Hospital del Mar Research Institute Hospital del Mar Research Institute

Ablative therapies in oncology surgery Fernando Burdío


Influence of principal pancreatic duct ligation on the occurrence of neoplastic lesions (PanIN and AFL) in murine pancreatic cancer models

El adenocarcinoma pancreàtic (PDAC) és el tipus de càncer de pàncrees més comú i una de les malalties malignes més devastadores. Tot i l'avenç en la investigació bàsica i aplicada, el pronòstic de l'PDAC no ha millorat en els últims 20 anys requerint-així noves aproximacions per al seu diagnòstic i tractament.

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is the most common type of pancreatic cancer and one of the most devastating. Despite advances in basic and applied research, the prognosis of PDAC has not improved over the past 20 years, necessitating new approaches to diagnosis and treatment. Our studies of normal and genetically modified K-Ras oncogene mice demonstrate that after experimental pancreatic duct ligation (PDL) there is a highly significant reduction in the occurrence of preneoplastic lesions in the pancreas distal to the ligation. This still very preliminary data might suggest that surgery involving the ligation/obstruction of the main pancreatic duct or transpapillary endoscopy in patients with preneoplastic lesions might stop them progressing to PDAC. In fact, several biomedical engineers in our research group (METABLATE, are currently designing radiofrequency-assisted electrodes that facilitate the transluminal closure of the major pancreatic duct through endoscopy. This project has interesting synergies that underline its translational significance in the clinical environment.

Other possibly interesting repercussions are the RF transection of the pancreatic neck after cephalic duodenopancreatectomy (CPD) for PDAC of the pancreas head, in certain situations. This technique could reduce the long-term risk of preneoplastic lesions appearing, and even PDAC, in the remains of the pancreas, compared with the conventional way of treating the pancreas after CPD (pancreatic anastomosis).

cirugía ligadura

Figura 1. A. Schematic diagram of the principal pancreatic duct ligation (PDL) surgery. B. Representative pancreases of control mice (i) and after PDL (ii). Histological imaging of post-PDL mice shows atrophy of the distal pancreas (DP) relative to the proximal pancreas (PP). C. Diagram of the technique using a catheter created by our group for endoluminal radiofrequency sealing of the pancreatic duct. 

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