In mid-November, Dr Lauer developed sudden onset diabetic ketosis and recognized there might be a pancreatic issue. This led to further testing by him, his PCP Dr. Mike Ciampi in South Portland, and his surgical colleague Dr. John Vanadia. One test led rapidly to another demonstrating pancreatic cancer with subsequent biopsy proving adenocarcinoma. This is the “bad type” of pancreatic cancer, known for growing quickly and spreading early.
He has an excellent oncologist, Dr. Sariah Liu in Augusta, who trained at top-institutions such as City of Hope (formerly known as Cancer Treatment Centers of America).
In December, Dr Lauer had upper-level specialty consults at Dana Farber in Boston, and The Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. "The Clinic" performed additional cancer workup: PET-CT, abdominal CT angiogram, laparoscopy with cytology-washing, and portal vein stenting. There is no external spreading from the pancreas. No metastatic disease identifiable !
Chemotherapy started Tues 1-2-2024. This regimen is standardized chemotherapy called FOLFIRINOX. Three drugs are infused every 2 weeks for 6 months. There's an 8-hour infusion in Augusta followed by a 46-hour infusion at home. Dr Lauer has completed two out of 12 chemo treatments well. He looks forward to the 10 remaining cycles.
Restaging scans will occur at 8-week intervals to verify if chemotherapy is working. Dr. Lauer returns to the Mayo Clinic Feb 20-21. Radiation therapy will precede surgery in the early summer, and the Whipple-procedure should occur by mid to late-summer 2024.
Regarding professional coverage, Dr. Aaron Karmes (a personal friend of Dr. L’s) will cover the office in-person every chemotherapy day (every other Tues: Jan 16, 30, Feb 13, 27, March 12, 26, Apr 9, 23, May 7, 21, and finally Jun 4). Aaron and Adam are good friends and trained at the same medical school.
As stated in the recent letter to our patients, if you are concerned about our ability to tend to your healthcare needs, then we are happy to transfer records upon request with no hard-feelings.
Please refrain from calling the office seeking Dr. Lauer’s medical updates or to state your intension to remain as our patient, because these calls are overloading our capacity. We appreciate those who wish to stay, and as long as you don't transfer out then you remain a patient of ours.