ORIGINAL CONTRIBUTIONSManagement of Painful Chronic Pancreatitis With Single-Dose RadiotherapyGuarner, Luisa, MD1; Navalpotro, Begoña, MD2; Molero, Xavier, MD1; Giralt, Jordi, MD2; Malagelada, J.-R., MD1Author Information 1Digestive Disease Research Unit, Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona, Spain; 2Radiation Oncology Service, Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebron, Barcelona, Spain. Correspondence: Luisa Guarner, MD, Digestive Disease Research Unit, Hospital Universitari Vall d'Hebron, Pg. Vall d'Hebron 119-129, Barcelona 08035, Spain. E-mail: email@example.com Received 11 July 2008; accepted 16 October 2008 American Journal of Gastroenterology: February 2009 - Volume 104 - Issue 2 - p 349–355 Buy Abstract OBJECTIVES: Some patients with chronic pancreatitis present recurrent flare-ups of pancreatitis and/or unrelenting pain. Current management is mostly limited to analgesics and surgery. We reasoned that anti-inflammatory radiotherapy, which has proven useful to alleviate other painful inflammatory disorders, might prove valuable for severely symptomatic patients with chronic pancreatitis. METHODS: We prospectively studied the efficacy of single-dose anti-inflammatory radiotherapy in 15 consecutive patients with chronic pancreatitis who fulfilled the following criteria: either two flare-ups of pancreatitis in the previous 6 months and/or continuous pain for more than 3 months. Treatment consisted of a single radiation dose of 8 Gy to the pancreas. Exocrine function (fecal elastase), endocrine function (c peptide), quality of life (EuroQol questionnaire), and clinical outcome were assessed before and after radiation. Response was defined as no further pain or flare-ups of pancreatitis. RESULTS: During follow-up (median: 39 months; range: 4-72 months), 12 patients had no further pain or flare-ups. One patient required a second radiation dose 1 year after the initial treatment, but he has remained well ever since (50 months). Two other patients did not respond to radiotherapy. After radiotherapy either exocrine or endocrine pancreatic function, or both, deteriorated in three patients. Patients who responded to treatment (13/15) gained 4-20 kg in body weight during follow-up (median 4 kg) and EuroQol improved significantly from 0.58 to 0.86 (P<0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Radiotherapy for severe symptomatic chronic pancreatitis appears to be a useful and effective therapeutic choice that could potentially substitute for or delay surgery. Am J Gastroenterol 2009; 104:349-355; doi:10.1038/ajg.2008.128; published online 27 January 2009 © The American College of Gastroenterology 2009. All Rights Reserved.