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

John M. DeWitt, Kumar Sandrasegaran, Bert O'Neil, Michael G. House, Nicholas J. Zyromski, Amikar Sehdev, Susan M. Perkins, Janet Flynn, Lynne McCranor, Safi Shahda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


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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