Phase 1 study of EUS-guided photodynamic therapy for locally advanced pancreatic cancer

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Background and Aims: Locally advanced pancreatic cancer (LAPC) has a poor prognosis. There are limited data describing the use of photodynamic therapy (PDT) for pancreatic cancer in humans. We hypothesized that EUS-guided PDT for LAPC is safe, technically feasible, and produces a dose- and time-dependent increasing degree of image-defined tumor necrosis. Methods: In a single-center, prospective, dose-escalation phase 1 study, patients with treatment-naïve LAPC received intravenous porfimer sodium (Concordia Laboratories Inc, St Michael, Barbados) followed 2 days later by EUS-PDT. EUS-PDT was performed by puncture with a 19-gauge needle and insertion of a 1.0-cm light diffuser (Pioneer Optics, Bloomfield, Conn) and illumination with a 630-nm light (Diomed Inc, Andover, Mass). A CT scan 18 days after PDT was done to assess for change in pancreatic necrosis. Nab-paclitaxel (125 mg/ m 2 intravenously) and gemcitabine (1000 mg /m 2 intravenously) were initiated 7 days after CT and given weekly for 3 of 4 weeks (1 cycle) until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. Results: Twelve patients (mean age, 67 ± 6 years; 8 male) with tumors (mean diameter, 45.2 ± 12.9 mm) in the head and/or neck (8) or body and/or tail (4) underwent EUS-PDT. Compared with baseline imaging, increased volume and percentage of tumor necrosis were observed in 6 of 12 patients (50%) after EUS-PDT. The mean overall increases in volume and percentage necrosis were 10 ± 26 cm 3 (P =.20) and 18% ± 22% (P =.016), respectively. After a median follow-up of 10.5 months (range, 1.0-37.4 months), median progression-free (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were 2.6 months (95% confidence interval, 0.7, not estimable) and 11.5 months (95% confidence interval, 1.1, 16.9), respectively. Surgical resection was attempted in 2 patients, and pathology showed a complete response (n = 1) and residual 2-mm tumor (n = 1). There were 8 serious adverse events and none related to EUS or EUS-PDT. Conclusion: EUS-PDT for LAPC appears to be safe and produces measurable imaged-defined tumor necrosis. Phase 2 studies are warranted. (Clinical trial registration number: NCT01770132.)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)390-398
Number of pages9
JournalGastrointestinal endoscopy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Gastroenterology

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