Login to Pancreatic Cancer UK


Coronavirus (COVID-19) information: Due to coronavirus (COVID-19), some hospitals and clinical trials are not recruiting new patients at the moment. Speak to your doctor or nurse if you would like to know more about this. If you are taking part in a clinical trial, your medical team will continue to support you and provide information.

A phase 2 trial looking at endoscopic ultrasound-guided radiofrequency ablation to treat pancreatic cysts (RADIOCYST)

Research title: A Phase II Multicentre Trial of Endoscopic Ultrasound Guided RADIOfrequency Ablation of CYSTic Tumours of the Pancreas (RADIOCYST)

Why is this trial being carried out?

Pancreatic cysts are pockets of fluid that can sometimes form in the pancreas, and could become cancerous. They often don’t cause any symptoms, and are usually monitored with check-ups involving MRI or CT scans. People with these type of cysts might need surgery and long-term check-ups.

The RADIOCYST trial is looking at treating cysts in the pancreas with a new type of treatment called endoscopic ultrasound-guided radiofrequency ablation (EUS-RFA).

Researchers will use an endoscopic ultrasound scan to create images of the inside of the body to guide the radiofrequency ablation (RFA). RFA works by passing electrical currents through a thin probe (electrode), which is passed through a needle into your pancreas. The electrical current destroys the cyst.

The RADIOCYST trial wants to find out if RFA is a safe and effective way of treating people with cysts that could become cancerous. Researchers are also looking at whether it could replace the need for long-term check-ups or surgery.

If you take part in this trial you will have a general anaesthetic (so that you are asleep), or medication to make you feel drowsy (so that you won’t feel any discomfort during EUS-RFA). You will then need to stay in hospital overnight after the treatment, and have a CT scan the following day. You will have one check-up after three months which will involve a scan, and another one after a year.

If the three-month scan shows that the cyst has not been removed completely you will be offered more EUS-RFA treatment. You will then have another check-up after six months.

Who is the trial suitable for?

The RADIOCYST trial may be suitable for you if you:

  • have a pancreatic cyst that needs to be regularly checked with CT and MRI scans
  • the cyst is between 0.5cm and 3cm long, and is not next to major blood vessels or the bile duct
  • have not had acute pancreatitis (sudden inflammation of the pancreas) in the four weeks before starting this trial
  • are fit and well enough to take part in the study – the trial team can discuss this with you.

The trial may not be suitable for you if you:

  • have had acute pancreatitis in the four weeks before starting this trial
  • have a pancreatic cyst that needs to be removed by surgery
  • have a serous cystadenoma – a type of non-cancerous tumour
  • have pancreatic cysts such as pseudocysts, that are not at risk of becoming cancerous
  • have cysts in the main pancreatic duct
  • have pancreatic cysts that are bigger than 3cm or smaller than 0.5cm in size
  • have had cancer in the past – the trial team can discuss this with you
  • have any other severe or uncontrolled health condition that might affect whether you can take part in the study – the trial team can discuss this with you.

There may be other reasons for not being able to take part in a trial. It is important to speak to your consultant about whether this trial might be suitable for you.

Recruitment start date: Currently suspended

Recruitment end date: Currently suspended

  • Trial centres

    The RADIOCYST trial is being carried out at:

    • University College London Hospital (UCLH), London
    • Royal Free Hospital (RFH), London
    • Hammersmith Hospital, London.
    • Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham
    • Kings College Hospital, London
    • Royal London Hospital
    • Homerton University Hospital, London
    • Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham
    • Glasgow Royal Infirmary
    • St James's Hospital, Leeds
    • St Bartholomew's Hospital, London

    Trial lead

    Professor Steve Pereira

    Contact information

    You can contact the Radiocyst Coordinator at the UCL Surgical & Interventional Trials Unit:

    Telephone: 020 7679 9280
    Email: situ.radiocyst@ucl.ac.uk

  • How to join a trial

    Please speak to your consultant about whether this trial is suitable for you. 

    If you have any questions about pancreatic cancer you can speak to one of our specialist nurses on freephone 0808 801 0707.

    How to find out more

    Find more information about the RADIOCYST trial.

    For references used to develop this information please email us.

Updated May 2018

Review date May 2020