Irreversible electroporation of pancreatic cancer - Effect on quality of life and pain perception

Rasmus Virenfeldt Flak*, Molly Maine Malmberg, Mogens Tornby Stender, Ann Hauberg, Ole Thorlacius-Ussing

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Most pancreatic cancer (PC) patients are incurable and may need palliative treatment at some point in time. Irreversible electroporation (IRE) is a novel ablative treatment, which aims to provide local tumor control. The aim of this study was to examine how consolidative treatment with IRE affects quality of life (QOL) and pain perception (PP) in patients with non-metastatic pancreatic cancer.

METHODS: Secondary outcomes were extracted from a prospective cohort of non-metastatic PC patients treated with IRE from 2013 to 2019. Patients filled in two questionnaires examining QOL and PP at different timepoints during treatment and follow-up. Data from a selected panel of subscales were extracted and analyzed using a mixed random intercept regression model.

RESULTS: Subscales from 41 patients at four different timepoints were included in the model. Global health status, physical functioning, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, appetite loss and mean pain interference were negatively impacted (p < 0.05) in the short- and mid-term, corresponding to a low or moderate clinical effect size. However, all negative effects showed a tendency to dissipate over time.

CONCLUSIONS: IRE treatment negatively impacted QOL and PP in the short- and mid-term. No positive long-term effects of IRE were found.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1059-1063
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2021 IAP and EPC. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


  • Ablation techniques
  • Electroporation
  • Pain management
  • Pancreatic neoplasms
  • Quality of life


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