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Onkologie. 2010;33(11):617-9. doi: 10.1159/000321133. Epub 2010 Oct 19.

Sustained partial remission of metastatic pancreatic cancer following systemic chemotherapy with gemcitabine and oxaliplatin plus adjunctive treatment with mistletoe extract.

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Department of Medicine I, St. Josef Hospital, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany.



The clinical prognosis of metastatic pancreatic cancer is very poor, with a median survival time of such patients ranging from 3 to 6 months. Current chemotherapy regimens include the combination of oxaliplatin and gemcitabine.


A 43-year-old woman was diagnosed with pancreatic adenocarcinoma spreading into the regional lymph nodes and into multiple liver segments (pT3, pN1, pM1). Upon diagnosis, she underwent a pylorus-preserving pancreatic head resection, including dissection of regional lymph nodes and atypical resection of a single liver segment, followed by 9 cycles of palliative chemotherapy with gemcitabine and oxaliplatin. 37 weeks after surgery, the patient demonstrated a sustained partial remission, and the chemotherapy was stopped. Surprisingly, 10 months later, she still showed no evidence of tumor progression. Since the time of pancreatic surgery, the patient had taken mistletoe extracts and this adjunctive treatment has been continued until now.


Cases of sustained long-term remission of metastatic pancreatic cancer are extremely rare. Although this single case observation does not allow for firm conclusions regarding potential mechanisms, the adjunctive therapy with mistletoe extracts might have played a role. Therefore, the clinical effects of such treatment in patients with pancreatic cancer warrant further investigation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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