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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 99

of 'Supportive care of the patient with locally advanced or metastatic exocrine pancreatic cancer'

Pancreas Adenocarcinoma: Ascites, Clinical Manifestations, and Management Implications.
Hicks AM, Chou J, Capanu M, Lowery MA, Yu KH, O'Reilly EM
Clin Colorectal Cancer. 2016;15(4):360. Epub 2016 May 7.
BACKGROUND: Ascites develops in a subset of patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PAC) at presentation or as the disease advances. Limited data exist on the prognostic importance of malignant ascites in PAC. Our hypothesis is that this information will provide an understanding of the natural history and facilitate management decisions.
METHODS: We conducted a retrospective analysis of 180 patients treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center diagnosed between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2014, with PAC and with ascites either at presentation or that developed during the disease course.
RESULTS: For the 180 patients, the overall survival was 15 months. The time from diagnosis to ascites presentation was 11 months, and the survival time after ascites development was 1.8 months (range, 1.6-2.3 months; 95% confidence interval). Of 62 patients (34%) who had ascitic fluid analyzed, 36 (58%) had positive cytology. Fifty-one (82%) patients had a serum ascites albumin gradient ≥1, and 11 (18%) had serum ascites albumin gradient <1. Sixty-four (36%) patients had their ascites managed solely by serial paracenteses. A total of 116 patients required a catheter; of these, 108 (93%) had a Tenckhoff catheter, 4 (3%) a Pleurx catheter, 4 (3%) a pigtail catheter, and 1 (1%) a Denver catheter. Eight (7%) patients required 2 catheters to be placed, and in 6 (5%), Tenckhoff catheters had to be removed. The main observed complications were spontaneous bacterial peritonitis in 7 (11%) managed with paracenteses versus 26 (23%) who had a catheter placed, catheter malfunction in 8 (7%), and acute renal failure in 6 (3%). After ascites development, 79 (44%) patients received active anti-cancer therapy, and 101 (56%) patients were managed with supportive care alone.
CONCLUSIONS: In patients with PAC who presented with or developed ascites, serial paracenteses and indwelling catheters are common methods used for providing symptomatic relief. The complication rate was higher with indwelling catheters, primarily related to infection (eg, bacterial peritonitis). Overall, ascites has a significantly negative prognostic import with a short median survival.
Department of Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai/St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center Program, New York, NY.