Endoscopic ultrasound guided radiofrequency ablation for pancreatic tumors: A critical review focusing on safety, efficacy and controversies

Tawfik Khoury, Wisam Sbeit, Bertrand Napoléon

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The role of endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) in the last two decades has shifted from a diagnostic tool to an important therapeutic tool treating mainly pancreato-biliary disorders. In recent years, its applications for treating pancreatic diseases have broadened, including the implementation of radiofrequency ablation (RFA), which has been traditionally used for treating solid tumors. In this critical in-depth review, we summarized all the papers throughout the literature regarding EUS-RFA for pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms, adenocarcinoma, and pancreatic cystic lesions. Overall, for pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms we identified 16 papers that reported 96 patients who underwent EUS-RFA, with acceptable adverse events that were rated mild to moderate and a high complete radiological resolution rate of 90%. For pancreatic adenocarcinoma, we identified 8 papers with 121 patients. Adverse events occurred in 13% of patients, mostly rated mild. However, no clear survival benefit was demonstrated. For pancreatic cystic lesions, we identified 4 papers with 38 patients. The adverse events were mostly mild and occurred in 9.1% of patients, and complete or partial radiological resolution of the cysts was reported in 36.8%. Notably, the procedure was technically feasible for most of the patients. Nevertheless, a long road remains before this technique finds its definite place in guidelines due to several controversies. EUS-RFA for pancreatic tumors seems to be safe and effective, especially for pancreatic neuroendocrine neoplasms, but multicenter prospective trials are needed to consider this treatment as a gold standard.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-170
Number of pages14
JournalWorld Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 7 Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.


  • Efficacy
  • Endoscopic ultrasound
  • Pancreas
  • Radiofrequency ablation
  • Safety
  • Tumors


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