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Journal of Gastrointestinal Cancer

, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 97–102 | Cite as

A Rare Case of Metastatic Pancreatic Hepatoid Carcinoma Treated with Sorafenib

  • Fausto PetrelliEmail author
  • Maria Ghilardi
  • Silvia Colombo
  • Enrico Stringhi
  • Cecilia Barbara
  • Mary Cabiddu
  • Stefano Elia
  • Daniela Corti
  • Sandro Barni
Case Report

Abstract

Background

Hepatoid carcinoma (HC) is a rare histopathological tumor type with prominent features of hepatoid differentiation, and while most of the reported cases are of gastric origin, ten cases of pancreatic HC have been reported to date. The majority of HC cases are metastatic at presentation, mainly to the liver, lymph nodes, and lungs. They are aggressive, invading, and proliferating in the venous and lymphatic systems, with a behavior similar to that of hepatocellular carcinoma. Diagnosis is challenging: alpha-Fetoprotein, the most useful marker, is not always positive.

Methods

We present the first case of metastatic pancreatic HC treated with sorafenib, an oral multikinase inhibitor approved for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma that has antiangiogenic, pro-apoptotic, and raf-kinase inhibitory properties.

Results

The patient, a 37-year-old male, was diagnosed with hepatoid carcinoma of the pancreas that had metastasized to liver, lungs, and lymph nodes. The cytokeratin (CK) profile was useful for the diagnosis: Both the hepatoid and adenocarcinoma components of the tumors were CK18+, CK19+, and CK20+/−, whereas normal and neoplastic hepatocytes are CK18+, CK19−, and CK20−. Amylase, lipase, and liver enzyme levels were elevated, but bilirubin was normal. Treatment with sorafenib resulted in more than 7 months of progression-free survival. Therapy was discontinued after 8 months when his bilirubin level increased dramatically. Signs of liver failure resolved temporarily with insertion of a biliary stent, but his condition deteriorated and he died 3 months later, 1 year after diagnosis.

Conclusion

In the absence of evidence-based experience with this rare and aggressive tumor and given its similarities with hepatocellular carcinoma, sorafenib should be considered as a possible treatment.

Keywords

Pancreatic hepatoid carcinoma Sorafenib Liver metastasis Antiangiogenic therapy 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fausto Petrelli
    • 1
    Email author
  • Maria Ghilardi
    • 1
  • Silvia Colombo
    • 2
  • Enrico Stringhi
    • 3
  • Cecilia Barbara
    • 4
  • Mary Cabiddu
    • 1
  • Stefano Elia
    • 5
  • Daniela Corti
    • 6
  • Sandro Barni
    • 1
  1. 1.Medical Oncology UnitTreviglio-Caravaggio HospitalTreviglioItaly
  2. 2.Hepatology ServiceTreviglio-Caravaggio HospitalTreviglioItaly
  3. 3.Department of SurgeryTreviglio-Caravaggio HospitalTreviglioItaly
  4. 4.Medical Oncology Unit, Spedali Riuniti AUSL 6Istituto Toscano TumoriLivornoItaly
  5. 5.Radiology UnitTreviglio-Caravaggio HospitalTreviglioItaly
  6. 6.Pathology UnitTreviglio-Caravaggio HospitalTreviglioItaly

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