Carriers of a germline mutation in the BRCA genes, in particular BRCA2, have an increased risk of developing pancreatic adenocarcinoma when compared with the general population. While the addition of cisplatin to gemcitabine did not produce survival benefit compared with single-agent gemcitabine in prospective trials it is postulated that the addition of DN A cross-linking agent such as cisplatin to standard gemcitabine chemotherapy should be considered in known BRCA mutation carriers. We report a case of pancreatic adenocarcinoma arising in a 60-y-old carrier of a rare BRCA2 (1153insertionT) germline mutation. The patient received gemcitabine without any response and actual progression of the disease had occurred. Therefore cisplatin was added in combination with gemcitabine. A dramatic complete response to therapy was encountered with no evidence of disease in both CT scans and markers (CA19-9). In conclusion, in patients with known BRCA mutation associated pancreatic adenocarcinoma, the addition of a DN A cross-linking agent such as cisplatin should be considered. Physicians should consider BRCA mutation testing when the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is established, especially when the patient belongs to an ethnic group where founder mutations exist, and/or there is strong personal or family history of cancer. This may be applied also to other metastatic tumors diagnosed in BRCA1/2 carriers.
- DNA damage
- Pancreatic adenocarcinoma