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New Treatment Option for Pancreatic Cancer

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT01364805
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : June 2, 2011
Last Update Posted : June 19, 2018
Lotte & John Hecht Memorial Foundation
University of Kansas Medical Center
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Jeanne Drisko, MD, CNS, FACN, University of Kansas Medical Center

Brief Summary:

In the United States, approximately 30,000 new cases of pancreatic cancer are diagnosed each year and an almost equal number of deaths are related to this cancer. Different types of chemotherapeutic treatments are used that target different parts of the cancer cell with some success, but there is room for other treatment options.

It is known that people with cancer are using high doses of intravenous vitamin C also known as ascorbate, as a cancer treatment and this is occurring frequently. When Vitamin C is given in this manner, it is not taken by mouth; instead, it enters your body through an IV (intravenous) site, or tube that is inserted through a needle into your vein. If you have a port-a-cath in place, the IV will be given using your port. When Vitamin C enters your body through an IV site, it is known that it acts like a drug and not a vitamin. It produces a substance around the cancer cells called hydrogen peroxide. It has been seen in animal research studies that hydrogen peroxide kills the cancer cells while leaving the normal cells unharmed.

Currently the FDA does not approve the use of high-dose intravenous Vitamin C as a cancer treatment. The use of intravenous Vitamin C in this study is experimental. Furthermore, it is important to know that we do not expect the intravenous Vitamin C given in this study to be healing for the treatment of your cancer.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Pancreatic Cancer Drug: Intravenous Vitamin C Drug: Gemcitabine Phase 1

Detailed Description:
The purpose of this study is to determine if it is safe to give Vitamin C by the vein at high doses to people with pancreatic cancer and if Vitamin C interferes with how well the chemotherapy works on cancer cells. This study will also look at how the body processes of Vitamin C. This study will also help researchers to learn more about long Vitamin C stays in the blood stream, and how rapidly it is used by the body.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 14 participants
Allocation: N/A
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Translation of in Vitro and in Vivo Ascorbate Research Into a New Treatment Option for Pancreatic Cancer: Phase I/IIa Clinical Trial
Study Start Date : April 2011
Actual Primary Completion Date : October 2015
Actual Study Completion Date : October 2015

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: PK Intravenous Vitamin C and Gemcitabine
Week 1: 2 visits for escalating doses of intravenous ascorbic acid (IV C). First dose 25 gm followed by 50 gm 2nd visit. Week 2: 3 visits escalating doses of IV C, 75 grams, 100 grams, and 125 grams. Week 3: 2 visits pharmacokinetic evaluation of intravenous ascorbic acid alone at 125 grams; return to the infusion clinic the following morning for a 24 hour blood draw; 2nd visit receive the first infusion of gemcitabine chemotherapy for PK evaluation of gemcitabine alone. Week-4: gemcitabine and IV C co-administered for pharmacokinetics of both drugs to assess for PK variability related to drug-drug interactions. Subjects will return to the infusion clinic the following morning for 24 hour blood draw.
Drug: Intravenous Vitamin C
The first 5 study visits will all take place in the General Clinical Research Center (GCRC). During these visits you will receive IV doses of Vitamin C. The dose of Vitamin C will be started at 25 grams and may be increased up to 125 grams over a two week period. There may be changes in the amount of Vitamin C that you receive based on your blood test levels. The study staff will go over this in more detail with you. The amount of fluid you receive depends on the dose and can be from 2 1/3 cups to 5 cups.
Other Name: IV ascorbic acid

Drug: Gemcitabine
Participants receive dexamethasone 10 mg as pretreatment antiemetic; may be given ondansetron, granisetron, or dolasetron, per oncologist. Gemcitibane 1,000mg/m2 IV over 30 minutes Q 21 days. Cycle of treatment: infusions once weekly for 2 consecutive weeks followed by 1 week of rest to continue treatment schedule until they experience disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. CR, PR or SD: treatment will be continued for at least 6 cycles. Discontinuation of therapy may be considered if agreed upon by the participant and oncologist. Dose Modifications: If the patient experiences more than one toxicity, each requiring a dose reduction, follow the guidelines that give the largest dose reduction for the drug. Subsequent doses can be adjusted to as low as 500 mg/m2 for gemcitabine.
Other Name: Gemsar

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Determine safety of combined gemcitabine chemotherapy with IV ascorbate. [ Time Frame: 12 months ]
    This will be accomplished by enrolling up to 14 participants fitting inclusion criteria into the Phase I portion of the trial: 7 participants will be enrolled at the determined dose levels and if no significant adverse event is identified, then 7 additional participants will be enrolled. Safety will be assessed by obtaining the following evaluations: toxicity graded by the NCI CTCAE v 4.0, urinalysis pre- and post-infusion, ECG, basic metabolic panel, bicarbonate (pH surrogate marker), CBC, and osmolality.

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Assess pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic interactions when adding IV AA to front-line gemcitabine chemotherapy in the treatment of locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer not eligible for surgical resection. [ Time Frame: 12 months ]
    By measuring PK data when combining gemcitabine chemotherapy along with IV ascorbate on the same day, it will be determined if there are reduced gemcitabine levels in the presence of ascorbate. Initially 7 participants will be enrolled and if no significant interaction defined, an additional 7 will be enrolled.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   21 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Patients must be 21 years of age or older and have histologically or cytologically diagnosed carcinoma of the pancreas defined as locally advanced or metastatic and if locally advanced, not eligible for surgical resection
  • The patient must screened for eligibility and have care approved by treating oncologist; the oncology care is to be dictated by the oncology team and patient and will include gemcitabine chemotherapy.
  • ECOG Performance Status 0-2 Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Performance Status Grade 0 = Fully active, able to carry on all pre-disease activities without restriction Grade 1= Restricted in physical strenuous activity but ambulatory and able to carry out work of a light or sedentary nature e.g. light housework, office work Grade 2 = Ambulatory and capable of all self care but unable to carry out any work activities, up and about more than 50% of waking hours
  • Laboratory: ANC ≥1,500/mm3, Hemoglobin > 8g/dL, platelet ≥ 1000,000/mm3, total bilirubin ≤ 1.5 mg/dL (in the absence of neoplastic involvement), creatinine ≤2.0 mg/dL, transaminase (AST/ALT) ≤2.5X upper limit, urine uric acid < 1,000mg/d, urine pH <6, urine oxalate <60 mg/d.
  • Patients who have no language barrier, are cooperative, and can give informed consent before entering the study after being informed of the medications and procedures to be used in this study may participate.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Glucose-6-phosphate-dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency
  • History of oxalate renal calculi; urine oxalate level > 60 mg/d at baseline
  • History of bleeding disorder, iron overload or hemochromatosis
  • Prior chemotherapy or currently receiving chemotherapy or radiation therapy or enrolled in other trials currently or in the preceding 1 month.
  • Patients with evidence of a significant psychiatric disorder by history/examination that would prevent completion of the study will not be allowed to participate.
  • ECOG Performance Status of 3-4. Grade 3 = capable of only limited self care, confined to bed or chair more than 50% of waking hours. Grade 4 = completely disabled. Cannot carry on any self care. Totally confined to bed or chair.)
  • Co-morbid condition that would affect survival: end stage congestive heart failure, unstable angina, myocardial infarction within 6 weeks of study, uncontrolled blood sugars ≥ 300 mg/dL, patients with known chronic active hepatitis or cirrhosis.
  • Patients who consume an excess of alcohol or abuse drugs (an excess of alcohol is defined as more than four of any one of the following per day: 30mL distilled spirits, 340mL beer, or 120mL wine) will not be allowed.
  • Patients who smoke tobacco products will not be allowed to participate.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT01364805

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United States, Kansas
University of Kansas Medical Center
Kansas City, Kansas, United States, 66160
Sponsors and Collaborators
Jeanne Drisko, MD, CNS, FACN
Lotte & John Hecht Memorial Foundation
University of Kansas Medical Center
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Principal Investigator: Jeanne Drisko, MD University of Kansas Medical Center
Publications of Results:
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Responsible Party: Jeanne Drisko, MD, CNS, FACN, Director Integrative Medicine, University of Kansas Medical Center Identifier: NCT01364805    
Other Study ID Numbers: 12505
First Posted: June 2, 2011    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: June 19, 2018
Last Verified: June 2018
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Pancreatic Neoplasms
Digestive System Neoplasms
Neoplasms by Site
Endocrine Gland Neoplasms
Ascorbic Acid
Digestive System Diseases
Pancreatic Diseases
Endocrine System Diseases
Growth Substances
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Antimetabolites, Antineoplastic
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Antineoplastic Agents
Antiviral Agents
Anti-Infective Agents
Enzyme Inhibitors
Immunosuppressive Agents
Immunologic Factors
Protective Agents