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World J Gastroenterol. 2010 Aug 14;16(30):3853-6.

Poorly differentiated endocrine carcinoma of the pancreas responded to gemcitabine: Case report.

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Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, National Hospital Organization, Osaka National Hospital, Chuo-ku, Osaka City, Osaka 540-0006, Japan.


Poorly differentiated endocrine carcinoma (PDEC) of the pancreas is a rare and aggressive tumor. First-line treatment is commonly a combination of etoposide and cisplatin, but there is no consensus regarding further treatment recommendations. In this report, we describe a case of pancreatic PDEC treated with gemcitabine as third-line chemotherapy. A 62-year-old man with pancreatic PDEC was administered etoposide plus cisplatin as first-line treatment; he then received irinotecan for tumor relapse. However, because irinotecan induced ileus in this patient, we chose gemcitabine as third-line chemotherapy. After two cycles of gemcitabine (1000 mg/m(2) on days 1, 8 and 15 every 4 wk), a partial tumor response was noted by computed tomography (approximately 68% reduction in tumor size). Our patient survived for 15 mo after diagnosis. This is a rare case of unresectable pancreatic PDEC, which showed a partial response to gemcitabine after the failure of two other regimens. Gemcitabine could be an effective treatment option for pancreatic PDEC that is resistant to other treatments.

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