Author(s): Rios Perez MV, Dai B, Koay EJ, Wolff RA, Fleming JB
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Abstract Although data suggests little hope for survival when patients present with metastatic pancreatic cancer, recent advances in systemic therapy offer the possibility for dramatic tumor responses like those observed in other disease sites. Here, we present the case of a 50-year-old woman who presented with adenocarcinoma of the pancreas with two liver metastases and a CA 19-9 level of 1,659 U/mL. The patient received FOLFIRINOX (leucovorin, 5-fluorouracil, irinotecan, and oxaliplatin) with a dramatic reduction in CA 19-9 level to 23.9 U/mL, and complete regression of both liver metastases. The patient then received capecitabine with the maintenance of a normal CA19-9 over the next 12 months. With no evidence of distant disease, concurrent systemic and local therapy with capecitabine-based chemoradiation (CapeXRT) was performed followed by observation for eight months with normal CA 19-9 readings. A mild increase in CA 19-9 (143 U/mL) prompted a restaging demonstrating an active primary tumor but no distant disease. Therefore, a pancreaticoduodenectomy (PD or Whipple) was performed rendering this patient free of detectable cancer. Our team has developed an ex-vivo chemosensitivity assay in which the tumor tissue from an individual patient can be rapidly examined for sensitivity to available systemic therapy treatment strategies. We tested this patient's tumor for its sensitivity to gemcitabine (Gem) versus a combination of 5-fluorouracil, irinotecan, and oxaliplatin (FIRINOX). Remarkably, our assay confirmed a profound sensitivity of this patient's tumor to the agents she had received.
This article was published in Cureus
and referenced in Journal of Cytology & Histology