Erlotinib-associated interstitial lung disease in advanced pancreatic carcinoma: a case report and literature review


The combination of erlotinib and gemcitabine is a recognized option for patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer whose common adverse events such as skin rash, diarrhea, or fatigue are usually easily manageable. Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is a life-threatening toxicity reported in patients with non-small-cell lung cancers treated with epidermal growth factor receptor–tyrosine kinase inhibitors or gemcitabine. This side effect is extremely rare in patients with pancreatic cancer. We report fatal treatment-related ILD that occurred in a 67-year-old patient with metastatic pancreatic cancer. Risk factors and pathophysiology of ILD need further investigation but caution is highly recommended for patients with an underlying pulmonary disease when using erlotinib in monotherapy or combination therapy.

Tumori 2015; 101(4): e122 - e127

Article Type: CASE REPORT



Marianna Macerelli, Micol Mazzer, Luisa Foltran, Giovanni Gerardo Cardellino, Giuseppe Aprile

Article History


Financial support: None.
Conflict of interest: None.

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  • Department of Oncology, University Hospital of Udine, Udine - Italy

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