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Atlantic Health System Cancer Care Enrolling Patients in Innovative Pancreatic Cancer Clinical Trials

October 30, 2019

All pancreatic cancer studies led by internationally known expert, Dr. Angela Alistar

Morristown, NJ – November is national Pancreatic Cancer Awareness month. This year alone, more than 56,000 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Pancreatic tumors are particularly aggressive and hard to treat "due to a mutational profile that makes it resistant to therapies that work better for other tumor types," explains Angela Alistar, MD, medical director of GI oncology at Morristown Medical Center.

“We know that every patient has a different kind of pancreatic cancer, and therefore will have different outcomes, different tolerances to treatments and different responses to treatments,” says Dr. Alistar.

Dr. Alistar, an internationally known expert on pancreatic cancer, is now enrolling patients in five clinical trials aimed at pancreatic cancer.

“Pancreatic cancer is one of the deadliest cancers, but there are many different ways to try and change the fate of pancreatic cancer,” adds Dr. Alistar, who is also medical director of the phase 1 Breakthrough Treatment Center at Morristown Medical Center. “What makes me optimistic about treating pancreatic cancer is clinical research, because I know that one day we will break through,” Dr. Alistar says.

According to the American Cancer Society, 5-year survival rates for pancreatic cancer are low, even when caught early, before it spreads. In 2016, pancreatic cancer moved from the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S. to the third, surpassing breast cancer.

"Exciting clinical trials are shining a light on our hope to defeat this illness in the near future," says Dr. Alistar.

Pancreatic cancer studies that are currently enrolling patients include:

  • The TIGeR-PaC Study for Locally Advanced, Inoperable Pancreatic Cancer. In this unique Phase 3 study, participants will have chemotherapy delivered directly to their tumor via a catheter threaded through an artery (intra-arterial treatment). Patients will first receive intravenous chemotherapy drugs gemcitabine plus nab-paclitaxel, as well as radiation therapy. Those who remain eligible will then be randomized to receive either intra-arterial chemotherapy with gemcitabine, or to continue gemcitabine plus nab-paclitaxel. Morristown Medical Center is the only location in New Jersey offering this study. The study is sponsored by RenovoRx. NCT03257033
  • Phase 1 Study of CPI-613 in Combination with Gemcitabine and Nab-Paclitaxel for Patients with Locally Advanced or Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer. This is a single arm, open-label study of CPI-613, a first-in-class drug with a unique mode of action, in combination with gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel. This study, designed by Dr. Alistar, is funded by Raphael Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Atlantic Health System. The study is designed for patients with locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer who have never been treated with systemic chemotherapy. Atlantic Health System Cancer Care is the only cancer program in the nation to offer this promising study, at both Morristown and Overlook Medical Centers. Dr. Alistar led previous studies of this promising drug, which have been presented at major international scientific meetings and published in The Lancet Oncology. NCT03435289
  • An SU2C Catalyst® Randomized Phase 2 Trial of the PD1 Inhibitor Pembrolizumab With or Without a Vitamin D Receptor Agonist Paricalcitol in Patients With Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer Who Have Been Placed in the Best Possible Response. Chemotherapy regimens for pancreatic cancer can now stabilize a patient's cancer and/or place some patients in remission or partial remission. The challenge now is to find options for maintenance therapies that will improve survival and allow continued benefits with minimal toxicities to patients. This study will determine the effects of one possible maintenance regimen. The study is being conducted to determine the effects that pembrolizumab (Keytruda, a monoclonal antibody) with or without the addition of paricalcitol (synthetic Vitamin D) may have on pancreatic cancer. Half of the patients will be randomized to receive pembrolizumab plus paricalcitol and half to receive pembrolizumab plus placebo. This study is sponsored by The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), in collaboration with Stand Up 2 Cancer and Merck. NCT03331562
  • Study Evaluating Efficacy and Safety of FFX Versus Combination of CPI-613 With mFFX in Patients With Metastatic Adenocarcinoma of the Pancreas. The purpose of this Phase 3 clinical trial is to examine the efficacy and safety of chemotherapy combination FOLFIRINOX (FFX) administered with experimental drug CPI-613, compared with modified FOLFIRINOX (mFFX) combined with CPI-613 for patients with pancreatic cancer that has metastasized. This trial is open label, and participants will be randomized to one of the two treatment groups. The study is sponsored by Raphael Pharmaceuticals, Inc. NCT03504423
  • A Study of Multiple Immunotherapy-Based Treatment Combinations in Participants With Metastatic Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma. The Phase Ib/II, open-label, multicenter, randomized study designed to assess the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and preliminary anti-tumor activity of immunotherapy-based treatment combinations in participants with metastatic Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma (PDAC). The study is sponsored by Genentech, Inc. NCT03193190

Each study has specific criteria for participation. Learn more at Atlantic Center for Research >

About Atlantic Health System Cancer Care

Atlantic Health System Cancer Care offers an unparalleled network of cancer specialists and resources for more than 6000 newly diagnosed cancer patients annually through its flagship Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Morristown and Overlook medical centers, as well as its comprehensive oncology programs at ChiltonHackettstown and Newton medical centers. With more than 250 cancer specialists, all five hospitals and Atlantic Medical Group are designated Blue Cross Blue Shield ‘Blue Distinction Centers,’ and participate in The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Oncology Care Model that supports and encourages higher quality care. Morristown and Newton medical centers earned the coveted American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer Outstanding Achievement Award and, along with Overlook and Chilton, earned Three-Year Approval with Commendation. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Atlantic Health System hospitals as high performing in colon cancer surgery, lung cancer surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, and pulmonology. In 2019, Morristown Medical Center (#28) and Overlook Medical Center (#98) were rated as some of the best hospitals in the entire United States by Newsweek in its inaugural hospital rankings.

Atlantic Health System Cancer Care is affiliated with the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) of Phoenix, Arizona, and together they have created the Breakthrough Oncology Accelerator, a pioneering research and clinical collaboration designed to improve patient access to the most innovative and sophisticated therapies for cancer.

About Atlantic Health System

Atlantic Health System - Powered by a workforce of 17,000 team members and 4,800 affiliated physicians dedicated to building healthier communities, Atlantic Health System is at the forefront of medicine, serving more than half of the state of New Jersey including 11 counties and 4.9 million people. The system offers more than 400 sites of care, including seven award winning hospitals: Morristown Medical CenterOverlook Medical CenterNewton Medical CenterChilton Medical Center  Hackettstown Medical CenterGoryeb Children’s Hospital, and Atlantic Rehabilitation Institute.

Offering a full continuum of care, the system includes Atlantic Medical Group, one of the largest multi-specialty practices in New Jersey with more than 1,000 physicians and providers, 12 urgent care centers, Atlantic Rehabilitation and Atlantic Home Care and Hospice. Facilitating the connection between these services on both land and air is the transportation fleet of Atlantic Mobile Health.

Recognized as one of the Best Places to Work by both Modern Healthcare and Fortune Magazine, Atlantic Health System attracts leaders in the field of health care, from CEO Brian Gragnolati, who is currently Chairman of the American Hospital Association, to the numerous team members who serve as leaders across a wide breadth of clinical associations and research entities. Atlantic Health System's Morristown Medical Center is named the number one hospital in New Jersey by U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, and Castle Connelly.