Published online Nov 7, 2017. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v23.i41.7478
Peer-review started: August 1, 2017
First decision: August 31, 2017
Revised: September 13, 2017
Accepted: September 26, 2017
Article in press: September 26, 2017
Published online: November 7, 2017
Chemotherapy has limited efficacy in the treatment of advanced and metastatic pancreatic cancer (PC), and has serious side effects. The development of novel effective agents, especially targeted therapy, is essential for patients with PC. We present a 58-year-old Chinese woman initially diagnosed with locally advanced PC. As the disease progressed to Stage IV, the patient was unable to tolerate chemotherapy after the fourth-line treatment. She was then treated with apatinib, a novel and highly selective tyrosine kinase inhibitor of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 and achieved a progression-free-survival of 7 mo. All drug-related side effects were well controlled with medication. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first case of PC which responded to apatinib. Considering this remarkable response, apatinib may be a promising agent in the treatment of PC. We also reviewed the literature on chemotherapy and targeted therapy, especially the anti-angiogenesis therapy for patients with PC, and investigated the effect of apatinib in other solid tumors as well.
Core tip: As chemotherapy has limited efficacy in the treatment of advanced and metastatic pancreatic cancer, targeted therapy is becoming increasingly important in patients with pancreatic cancer. The case reported herein suggests that apatinib, a novel and highly selective tyrosine kinase inhibitor of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2, may be a promising and useful agent in the treatment of pancreatic cancer.