A case report of microsatellite instability (MSI)-high, HER2 amplified pancreatic adenocarcinoma with central nervous system metastasis.

Journal Article

Pancreatic adenocarcinoma commonly presents as metastatic disease and harbors a dire prognosis due to its aggressive behavior, propensity for resistance to therapies, and lack of targetable driver mutations. Additionally, despite advances in other cancers, immunotherapy has been ineffective in this disease thus far and treatment remains centered around cytotoxic chemotherapy. Here, we present a case of a patient with pancreatic adenocarcinoma harboring both high microsatellite instability (MSI-H) and HER2 amplification. After an initial response to standard-of-care chemotherapy with FOLFIRINOX followed by progression, she was treated with dual immune checkpoint blockade, which resulted in a period of disease control. This was complicated by the development of autoimmune hypophysitis and an incidental finding of brain metastasis on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Her extracranial disease progressed while receiving stereotactic radiosurgery, with findings of lymphangitic spread in her lungs, and her treatment was changed to gemcitabine/nab-paclitaxel with trastuzumab. This resulted in a degree of extracranial disease control, though she experienced progressive brain metastases despite radiation and therapeutic switch to lapatinib and trastuzumab. Ultimately, the patient developed leptomeningeal disease which was not controlled by intrathecal trastuzumab. Given the rarity of central nervous system metastasis, HER2 amplification, and MSI in pancreatic cancer, this patient's presentation represents a confluence of multiple unique features. This case highlights the clinical value of up-front next-generation sequencing in metastatic pancreatic cancer and the ability of pancreatic cancer with actionable molecular variants to develop atypical sites of disease and adaptive resistance.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • DeVito, NC; Kelleher, C; Strickland, KC; Abbruzzese, J; Anders, C; Hanks, BA; Jia, J; Mettu, NB; Morse, MA; O'Neill, M; Uronis, H; Zafar, Y; Strickler, JH

Published Date

  • 2021

Published In

  • Ame Case Rep

Volume / Issue

  • 5 /

Start / End Page

  • 14 -

PubMed ID

  • 33912803

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8060150

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2523-1995

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.21037/acr-20-154


  • eng

Conference Location

  • China