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Exceptional Response to A Single Cycle of Immunotherapy in a Lynch Syndrome Patient with Metastatic Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma

Neha R. Patil, Gazala N. Khan

(Department of Hematology-Oncology, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI, USA)

Am J Case Rep 2020; 21:e923803

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.923803

BACKGROUND: Pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PDA) is associated with an 8.6-fold increased risk in Lynch syndrome patients. Here, we report the case of a Lynch syndrome PDA patient with an exceptional response to a single cycle of pembrolizumab immunotherapy.
CASE REPORT: A 65-year-old male patient with Lynch syndrome mismatch repair (MMR) deficient PDA with metastatic liver disease, received 1 cycle of pembrolizumab (200 mg) after progressing on 2 standard lines of treatment. His initial computed tomography (CT) showed 3×2.5 cm PDA. At that time, the disease was considered borderline resectable, and the patient received 6 cycles of FOLFIRINOX followed by chemoradiotherapy with capecitabine. A follow-up CT scan showed multiple new liver lesions. The biopsy showed metastatic PDA and tumor tissue demonstrated high microsatellite instability with abnormal/lost expression of MLH1 and PMS2 proteins. The patient was started on pembrolizumab. Only 1 cycle was given due to the development of thromboembolic complications: pulmonary embolism and myocardial infarction. His thrombophilia workup was negative. Restaging CT scans at 3, 6, and 9 months after 1 cycle of pembrolizumab revealed an excellent response with shrinkage of liver lesions. Restaging at 11 months showed the eventual resolution of most liver lesions. No new metastatic disease developed. A repeat biopsy of the dominant liver lesion showed no morphological evidence of PDA.
CONCLUSIONS: Only 1 cycle of pembrolizumab resulted in clinical complete response and pathologic response in metastatic PDA. We emphasize the importance of testing for MMR status and treating with immunotherapy in metastatic PDA patients with MMR deficiency.

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