Research Study for Newly Diagnosed, Advanced or Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer

Name of Study: A phase I/II pharmacodynamic study of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) in combination with gemcitabine/abraxane to inhibit autophagy in pancreatic cancer (not listed on currently)


    • Diagnosed with advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer that has not yet been treated.
    • If previously treated with chemotherapy or radiation therapy after surgery (adjuvant therapy), must be at least 4 months since last dose of chemotherapy.

About the Study

Pancreatic cancer is a disease in which autophagy (digestion of cellular parts by enzymes of the same cell) plays an important role even at the earliest stages of the disease. Hydroxychloroquine is a malaria medication that can block autophagy and may, in turn, enhance cancer treatments. The goal of this trial is to evaluate how well patients respond to a new chemotherapy regimen for pancreatic cancer combined with hydroxychloroquine. Patients will receive hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) in combination with Gemcitabine and Abraxane, two chemotherapy medications.

About HCQ:

  • HCQ may be effective in helping the therapy to work by preventing cancer cells from becoming resistant and growing while on therapy.
  • HCQ is approved by the FDA for the treatment of malaria and rheumatoid arthritis and has been combined safely with other chemotherapy drugs.

For more information about this trial

  • Visit
  • For study related questions, call Kathi Harlacker, RN Clinical Research Nurse Coordinator(215) 662-7730.
  • To make an appointment with a Penn Medical Oncologist who can tell you about this and other trials, as well as treatment for pancreatic cancer call 1-800-789-PENN (7366).