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Weight Loss in Patients with Advanced Stage Pancreatic Cancer: Role of Serotonin and Effects of Telotristat Ethyl

Cancer Type
Pancreatic Cancer
Unknown Primary
Trial Phase
Phase II
18 Years and older, Male and Female
Study Type
Supportive care
Protocol IDs
Winship4441-18 (primary)
Study Sponsor
Emory University Hospital / Winship Cancer Institute


This phase II trial studies how well telotristat ethyl works in promoting weight stability in patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma that has come back and spread to other places in the body. Telotristat ethyl may decrease bowel movements which may make patients gain weight. Stabilizing weight may help patients tolerate chemotherapy better and improve longevity.


I. Weight stability after 3 months of Telotristat ethyl treatment in patients who have significant weight loss (Documented to be more than or equal to 10%) prior to the start of treatment. (Group 1)
II. Evaluate the change in serum and 24-hours (hr) urine 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) in patients with locally advanced unresectable, recurrent or metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PDAC) receiving chemotherapy. (Group 2).

I. Evaluate the impact of weight stabilization/gain on patients in Group 1 on performance status, quality of life (QOL), Mid Arm Circumference (MAC) and muscle mass on cross sectional imaging.
II. Evaluate correlations between changes in serotonin/ 5HIAA levels on radiologic response, weight stability, Mid Arm Circumference (MAC), and muscle mass on cross sectional imaging.
III. Evaluate the relation of baseline serum and 24-hr urine 5-HIAA on weight loss in patients with advanced PDAC.
IV. Safety and tolerability of telotristat ethyl with gemcitabine/nab-paclitaxel combination chemotherapy.
V. Evaluate response rate (RR) assessed per Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST), progression free survival and overall survival in patients receiving telotristat ethyl (Group 1).

OUTLINE: Patients are randomized to 1 of 2 groups.

GROUP 1: Patients receive gemcitabine/nab-paclitaxel combination chemotherapy on days 1, 8 and 15, and telotristat ethyl orally (PO) once daily (QD), twice daily (BID), or thrice daily (TID) on days 1 and 8. Courses repeat every 28 days in the absence of disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.

GROUP 2: Patients receive chemotherapy (at the discretion of the investigator) on days 1, 8 and 15. Courses repeat every 28 days in the absence of disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.

After completion of study treatment, patients are followed up at 30 days, then every 8 weeks thereafter.

Treatment Sites in Georgia

Emory Saint Joseph's Hospital

5665 Peachtree Dunwoody Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30342

Emory University Hospital - Midtown

550 Peachtree Street NE
Atlanta, GA 30308

Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University

1365 Clifton Road NE
Building C
Atlanta, GA 30322

**Clinical trials are research studies that involve people. These studies test new ways to prevent, detect, diagnose, or treat diseases. People who take part in cancer clinical trials have an opportunity to contribute to scientists’ knowledge about cancer and to help in the development of improved cancer treatments. They also receive state-of-the-art care from cancer experts... Click here to learn more about clinical trials.
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