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Gemcitabine is widely accepted as the standard treatment for pancreatic cancer, but it can cause unpredictable side effects. Acute respiratory distress syndrome is a rare complication with gemcitabine, but is sometimes fatal. We describe a cured case of acute, severe gemcitabine-induced pulmonary toxicity. The patient was a 76-year-old man with pancreatic cancer who was receiving adjuvant gemcitabine chemotherapy after surgery. The patient received gemcitabine 1,000 mg/m2 on days 1, 8, and 15 for three 4-week cycles, with intervals of 1 week. He developed severe general fatigue on day 1 of the third cycle. Computed tomography showed diffuse ground-glass opacity with pleural effusion. There was no increase in beta-D-glucan, and cytomegalovirus antigenemia assays were negative. No bacteria or acid-fast bacilli were found. The number of eosinophils in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid was increased. Considering these data, we diagnosed eosinophilic pneumonia induced by gemcitabine. The patient was immediately treated with a steroid and neutrophil elastase inhibitor under respiratory supportive therapy. After 4 weeks, his pulmonary symptoms were markedly improved. Physicians should be cognizant of the possible association of serious pulmonary toxicity with gemcitabine treatment. A delay in diagnosis and treatment could lead to a fatal outcome.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: World journal of surgical oncology
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Drug therapy given to augment or stimulate some other form of treatment such as surgery or radiation therapy. Adjuvant chemotherapy is commonly used in the therapy of cancer and can be administered before or after the primary treatment.
Radiotherapy given to augment some other form of treatment such as surgery or chemotherapy. Adjuvant radiotherapy is commonly used in the therapy of cancer and can be administered before or after the primary treatment.
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