for people ages 18 years and up (full criteria)
at La Jolla, California
study started
estimated completion
Hitendra Patel



The purpose of this study is to see if a combination of paclitaxel protein bound (also known as nab-paclitaxel), gemcitabine, and cisplatin when given with high dose Ascorbic Acid will be safe and effective in individuals with untreated metastatic pancreatic cancer. Vitamin C is a nutrient found in food and dietary supplements. It protects cells and also plays a key role in making collagen (which provides strength and structure to skin, bones, tissues and tendons). High-dose vitamin C may be given by intravenous (IV) infusion (through a vein into the bloodstream) or orally (taken by mouth). When taken by intravenous infusion, vitamin C can reach much higher levels in the blood than when the same amount is taken by mouth. Some human studies of high-dose IV vitamin C in patients with cancer have shown improved quality of life, as well as improvements in physical, mental, and emotional functions, symptoms of fatigue, nausea and vomiting, pain, and appetite loss. Intravenous high-dose ascorbic acid has caused very few side effects in clinical trials.

Official Title

Phase IB/II Trial of High Dose Ascorbic Acid (AA) + Nanoparticle Paclitaxel Protein Bound + Cisplatin + Gemcitabine (AA NABPLAGEM) in Patients Who Have No Prior Therapy for Their Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer


Pancreatic cancer continues to be a very lethal disease. It was estimated that in 2016, 53,070 Americans would be diagnosed with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA), and 41,780 would die from the disease. This makes pancreatic cancer the third leading cause of death from cancer in the US.

PDA is the twelfth most common cancer in the world with 338,000 new cases diagnosed in 2012. It is estimated that worldwide there will be > 300,000 deaths from pancreatic cancer. Furthermore unfortunately PDA is projected to be the second leading cause of death from cancer in the US by 2030.

Detection of pancreatic cancer has notoriously been very late in the disease and therefore the 5-year survival rate is only 8%, which is actually a slight improvement over the last few years. Right now the only potential cure for pancreatic cancer is surgical resection (if the disease is caught early). However only about 20% of PDA patients are eligible for potentially curable resection and unfortunately most (> 80%) have recurrence of their cancer within 2 years of resection, and those recurrences are almost universally fatal.

Recently it has been shown that there are regimens that actually improve survival for patients with advanced stage IV PDA. Conroy and colleagues have developed the Folfirinox regimen, which in a large randomized trial improved survival over gemcitabine as a single agent. Von Hoff and colleagues developed the nanoparticle albumin (nab) associated paclitaxel plus gemcitabine regimen which improved survival over single agent gemcitabine. Even more recently Jameson and colleagues have presented a combined regimen of nab-paclitaxel + gemcitabine + cisplatin in a small 24 patient phase Ib/II trial which showed a response rate of 71% with 2 patients having complete response, a 1-year survival of 65% and a median survival of 16+ months.

While there have been multiple investigators and investigations into the use of ascorbic acid for patients with cancer (see, its use has generally not been found to be of help for patients particularly when given orally - e.g. 10 grams daily.


Metastatic Pancreatic CancerPancreatic CancerPancreas CancerPancreatic Adenocarcinoma ResectablePancreatic Ductal AdenocarcinomaPancreatic MetastasiscancerpancreaticVitamin CAscorbic AcidNanoparticle Paclitaxel Protein BoundcisplatingemcitabinepancreasAdenocarcinomaPancreatic NeoplasmsVitaminsPaclitaxelAlbumin-Bound PaclitaxelPaclitaxel protein-boundAA NABPLAGEM


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18 years and up

  • Histologically or cytologically confirmed metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma (with measurable disease according to RECIST 1.1 criteria).
  • Adequate organ function

You CAN'T join if...

  • Patients must have received no previous radiotherapy, surgery, chemotherapy or investigational therapy for the treatment of metastatic disease. Prior treatments in the adjuvant setting with gemcitabine and/or 5-FU or gemcitabine administered as a radiation sensitizer are allowed, provided at least 6 months have elapsed since completion of the last dose
  • Palliative surgery and/or radiation treatment less than 4 weeks prior to initiation of study treatment.
  • Exposure to any investigational agent within 4 weeks prior to initiation of study treatment.
  • Patients who need constant use of finger stick blood glucose monitoring for tight control of their diabetes
  • Any person with a G6PD deficiency
  • History of renal oxalate stones
  • Patient is taking acetaminophen at any dose, or any medication that contains acetaminophen within 72 hours of first dose of ascorbic acid.
  • Has a known additional malignancy that is progressing or requires active treatment. Exceptions include basal cell carcinoma of the skin or squamous cell carcinoma of the skin that has undergone potentially curative therapy or in situ cervical cancer.
  • Has known active central nervous system (CNS) metastases and/or carcinomatous meningitis. Patients with previously treated brain metastases may participate provided they are stable (without evidence of progression by imaging for at least four weeks prior to the first dose of trial treatment and any neurologic symptoms have returned to baseline), have no evidence of new or enlarging brain metastases, and are not using steroids for at least 7 days prior to trial treatment. This exception does not include carcinomatous meningitis which is excluded regardless of clinical stability.
  • Is pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Current, serious, clinically significant cardiac arrhythmias or receiving a digitalis derivative.


  • UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center not yet accepting patients
    La JollaCalifornia92093United States

Lead Scientist


not yet accepting patients
Start Date
Completion Date
Hitendra Patel
Phase 1/2
Study Type
Last Updated