Radiation Therapy for Pancreatic Cancer

This information is useful for adults and older adults
a doctor possibly discussing radiation therapy for pancreatic cancer with a female patient.

The pancreas is a 6-inch-long organ located behind the stomach in the upper abdomen. It produces enzymes that help break down food and hormones that help the body regulate itself. When malignant cells grow and multiply within the tissues of the pancreas, pancreatic cancer develops. Every year sees about 57,000 diagnoses of pancreatic cancer, which affects men and women equally.

The main treatments for pancreatic cancer are chemotherapysurgery, and radiation therapy

"In some cases, a malignant tumor cannot be surgically removed because it’s too close to major blood vessels, making surgery risky," says Kimberly Johung, MD, PhD, director of the Gastrointestinal Radiotherapy Program at Yale Medicine. That's when a type of higher-dose radiation therapy called stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) may be beneficial.

Clinical Trials

New treatments for many conditions are tested in clinical trials, which ultimately bring lifesaving new drugs and devices to the patients who need them most. By participating in a clinical trial, you may get access to the most advanced treatments for your condition, and help determine their benefits for future patients.