alexa Gemcitabine-related radiation recall in a patient with pancreatic cancer.
Biochemistry

Biochemistry

Clinical & Medical Biochemistry

Author(s): Saif MW, Sellers S, Russo S

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Abstract Radiation recall refers to inflammatory reactions triggered by chemotherapeutic agents and develops cutaneously in the previously irradiated areas. Such agents include anthracyclines, taxanes and capecitabine. Radiation recall related to gemcitabine has been reported in lung and breast cancer. Similar phenomenon associated with gemcitabine, the only FDA-approved drug for pancreatic cancer, is rarely reported. We report a patient with inoperable pancreatic cancer who developed gastrointestinal bleeding secondary to radiation-recall related to gemcitabine and review literature. A 57-year-old white male with unresectable pancreatic cancer received capecitabine in combination with radiation therapy followed by capecitabine alone given over approximately a 3-month time period. Computed tomography re-evaluation demonstrated a new liver lesion. The patient was then treated with gemcitabine and irinotecan. On day 15 of cycle 1, he reported progressive worsening of weakness and fatigue, and melena. Physical examination revealed hypotension (84/47 mmHg) and heme-positive stool on rectal examination. He denied aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug use. Chemotherapy was held. Hematocrit was 20\% (previously 33\%). He was transfused with 3 units of packed red blood cells. An esophago-gastro-duodenal examination was performed which showed antritis and duodenitis consistent with radiation therapy. A single site of oozing was injected with epinephrine. The diffuse gastritis was aggressively treated with proton pump inhibitors. The patient's hematocrit eventually stabilized and was 30\% at discharge. Gemcitabine was not resumed. Radiation recall from gemcitabine is rare, but can potentially arise in any site that has been previously irradiated. Gemcitabine should be added to the list of drugs known to cause radiation recall. Treating physicians must be aware of this potential toxicity from gemcitabine either given concomitantly or followed by radiation. We suggest discontinuing gemcitabine if radiation recall is observed. Further studies are warranted into the pathogenesis of this unique phenomenon.
This article was published in Anticancer Drugs and referenced in Clinical & Medical Biochemistry

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