Dr. Chung on Adding Dietary Supplements to Chemotherapy in Pancreatic Cancer

Partner | Cancer Centers | <b>City of Hope</b>

Vincent Chung, MD, discusses findings from a pilot study evaluating the safety of adding dietary supplements to chemotherapy in patients with unresectable pancreatic cancer.

Vincent Chung, MD, associate clinical professor, Department of Medical Oncology and Therapeutics Research, director of the Phase I Program, City of Hope, discusses findings from a pilot study (NCT02336087) evaluating the safety of adding dietary supplements to chemotherapy in patients with unresectable pancreatic cancer.

The study enrolled 21 patients to receive 17 supplements in the form of 12 pills and 2 smoothie packets with metformin and gemcitabine plus nab-paclitaxel (Abraxane).

The overall survival and progression-free survival were 8.9 months and 5.4 months respectively. A partial response rate of 29% was observed with the chemotherapy/supplement combination. These results were comparable to findings from the randomized phase III MPACT trial, says Chung.

Investigators also evaluated the safety of this regimen as many patients with pancreatic cancer experience gastrointestinal toxicities with treatment, explains Chung. Findings revealed that the treatment was generally well tolerated; only 2 patients came off study early.

Some patients who received the supplement/chemotherapy combination reported higher energy levels and a general improvement in well-being, explains Chung. As such, further investigation is needed to determine if supplements can improve patients