NCCN Guidelines for Patients
Pancreatic Cancer, Version 1.2017
For pancreatic cancer, radiation is often given using
a machine outside the body. This method is called
herapy). For EBRT,
your doctors will first take pictures of the tumor with
a CT scan using contrast dye. This process is called
simulation. Your doctors will use the pictures to help
target the tumor and plan radiation treatment.
Using the CT scan pictures, your doctors will plan
the radiation dose, number and shape of radiation
beams, and number of treatment sessions. Beams
are shaped with computer software and hardware
added to the radiation machine.
During treatment, you will lie on a table in the same
position as done during simulation. Devices may be
used to keep you from moving so that the radiation
targets the tumor. Likewise, methods may be applied
to control breathing. Radiation beams are aimed at
the tumor with help from ink marks on the skin or tiny
gold seeds placed in the tumor.
You will be alone while the technician operates the
machine from a nearby room. He or she will be able
to see, hear, and speak with you at all times. As
treatment is given, you may hear noises. A treatment
session can take about 30 to 60 minutes. The types
of EBRT used for pancreatic cancer include:
herapy) is given in small doses for a few
weeks with beams that match the shape of the
is given in small doses for a few weeks with
beams of different strengths based on the
thickness of the tumor.
is given in higher doses over a few visits, and
precisely targets the tumor.
Order of treatments
Most people with pancreatic cancer will
receive more than one type of treatment.
When and why treatments are given can
be hard to understand. Part 5 gives more
details. Here, the terms that describe the
order of treatments are explained.
is given to shrink
the tumor before surgery.
is given after primary
treatment to kill any remaining cancer cells.
is the main treatment
given to rid the body of cancer.
is the first set of
is the next set of
treatments given after the first or previous