Frequency of Appropriate Use of Pancreatic Enzyme Replacement Therapy and Symptomatic Response in Pancreatic Cancer Patients

Jodie A. Barkin, Amy Westermann, William Hoos, Cassadie Moravek, Lynn Matrisian, Hongwei Wang, Lynn Shemanski, Jamie S. Barkin, Lola Rahib

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Pancreatic cancer (PC) and its treatments can result in pancreatic exocrine insufficiency that requires pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy (PERT). Appropriate PERT usage is during meals and snacks. The aim was to determine the frequency of appropriate use of PERT and its impact on symptom alleviation in PC through a patient-reported outcomes online platform. Methods Users in the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network's Patient Registry were prompted to answer a standalone questionnaire about their experience with PERT. Results Two hundred sixty-two users completed the PERT questionnaire (January 2016-January 2018). Patients who reported taking PERT with meals had higher alleviation of symptoms compared with those taking PERT prior to or after meals. Specifically, "feeling of indigestion," "light-colored or orange stools," and "visible food particles in stool" were significantly decreased. Patients taking PERT with meals reported weight gain and less weight loss. Conclusions Of the 89% of PC patients prescribed PERT, 65% were prescribed PERT appropriately with all meals and snacks. Overall compliance with PERT administration guidelines was low (50% [105/208]). Improvement in symptoms significantly correlated with appropriate use of PERT. Increase in PC patient and provider education about appropriate PERT usage and administration is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)780-786
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 1 2019


  • pancreatic cancer
  • pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy
  • pancreatic enzymes
  • pancreatic exocrine insufficiency
  • symptom alleviation
  • weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Hepatology
  • Endocrinology


Dive into the research topics of 'Frequency of Appropriate Use of Pancreatic Enzyme Replacement Therapy and Symptomatic Response in Pancreatic Cancer Patients'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this