February 9, 2017 • 2 Min

Testing Standard Treatment Plus an Antibody to Shrink Pancreatic Tumors

Four test tubes with open caps in a blue rack; liquid is being poured into one tube.

Greg Emmerich; Flickr

Will standard chemotherapy plus an antibody against connective growth tissue factor make locally advanced pancreatic cancer surgically removable?

Researchers are adding the monoclonal antibody FG-3019 to treatment with gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel, in a clinical trial for patients with pancreatic tumors that have spread to nearby tissues. The trial looks at the safety and effectiveness of the drug compared to standard treatment. Of particular interest is how the participants’ tumors respond to FG-3019—whether the tumors shrink enough to allow surgery.

What is FG-3019?

Connective tissue growth factor is a protein that promotes the growth of fibrous tissue. Too much of this protein has been found to play a role in diabetes and the spread of pancreatic cancer. FG-3019 (pamrevlumab) is a monoclonal antibody that inhibits connective tissue growth factor.

Treatment With and Without the Antibody

All participants in this trial receive chemotherapy with gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel. Gemcitabine is converted into two metabolites that cause cell death. One reduces the number of proteins available to make DNA; the other shortens the DNA strands. Nab-paclitaxel inhibits cell division and promotes cell death. Some participants will get the experimental FG-3019 along with the chemotherapy drugs.

During the trial the tumors of all participants will be evaluated for response to the drugs, via scans and blood work. The researchers are looking to see how safe and effective this treatment is, and whether it shrinks tumors enough to make surgery possible.

This is a randomized trial, so only some participants receive the experimental drug. To participate, patients must not have had prior treatment for pancreatic cancer.

We encourage you to consult your physicians for clinical trials that may be right for you. The website provides more details about this trial as well as many others. You can visit the EmergingMed Trial Finder for a listing of all active pancreatic cancer clinical trials.

This trial has been completed. To learn more about immunotherapy research read the article “More Research Needed for Pancreatic Cancer Immunotherapy.”

What new treatments and clinical trials are available to me?

Learn more