Newswise — Atlantic Health System Cancer Care’s Angela Alistar, MD, medical director of GI medical oncology at Morristown Medical Center and medical director of the Phase 1 Breakthrough Treatment Center, is lead author of a phase 1 study of CPI-613® (devimistat), a unique first-in-class treatment for locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer, in combination with two chemotherapy drugs. Dr. Alistar will present the study results in a poster session at 8:00 a.m. ET on Friday, May 29 during the 2020 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Virtual Program. The ASCO meeting, held virtually this year due to COVID-19, is the world’s premier scientific gathering of cancer specialists and clinical researchers.

Dr. Alistar is the principal investigator (PI) on this phase 1 study, which she designed, at Atlantic Health System’s Morristown Medical Center and Overlook Medical Center, the only sites for the study. Dr. Alistar has pioneered the use of CPI-613 (devimistat), which uniquely targets enzymes involved in cancer cell metabolism, against pancreatic cancer. Her studies of this drug have been presented at major oncology meetings and published in leading medical journals, including The Lancet Oncology. The current study was funded by the drug’s manufacturer, New Jersey-based Rafael Pharmaceuticals and by Atlantic Health System. 

“Devimistat holds great promise for changing the course of this chemoresistant cancer,” said Dr. Alistar. “Although this is an early-stage study, the results are very encouraging and shed a light on the best treatment strategies. I am thrilled to see that the study results met my expectations of good tolerance of devimistat in combination with the two chemotherapy drugs.”

During the ASCO meeting, Dr. Alistar will report on a single-arm, open-label study of devimistat in combination with chemotherapeutic agents gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel for patients with locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic cancer. The purpose of the study was to determine the maximum tolerated dose, safety and preliminary efficacy of devimistat in combination with chemotherapy. Overall, the treatment was well-tolerated and demonstrated positive results that show devimistat can be safely administered with gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel at doses up to 1,500 mg/m2. The study’s efficacy data suggest devimistat has synergy with chemotherapy. Dr. Alistar is also helping lead a Phase 3 trial of chemotherapy alone versus devimistat plus chemotherapy for metastatic pancreatic cancer.

“Dr. Alistar has truly pioneered this new type of cancer treatment, as it pertains to pancreatic cancer,” said Eric D. Whitman, MD, medical director, Atlantic Health System Cancer Care. “She and her colleagues are enabling us to lead some of the most innovative oncology trials in the world, including many phase 1 trials of breakthrough therapies such as this one.”

Hear more from Dr. Alistar on the devimistat study in this video.

About Atlantic Health System Cancer Care

Atlantic Health System Cancer Care offers an unparalleled network of cancer specialists and resources for more than 70,500 patients annually through its flagship Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Morristown and Overlook medical centers, as well as its comprehensive oncology programs at Chilton, Hackettstown and Newton medical centers. With more than 250 cancer specialists and medical professionals, all five hospitals and Atlantic Medical Group have been recognized nationally for their role in advancing the fight against cancer. 

Atlantic Health System Cancer Care is the lead affiliate of Atlantic Health Cancer Consortium (AHCC) - the only New Jersey-based National Cancer Institute (NCI) Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP). The NCORP develops and implements NCI cancer prevention, screening, care delivery, and treatment studies with leading healthcare systems across the state. Atlantic Health System Cancer Care is affiliated with the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) of Phoenix, Arizona, and together they have created the Breakthrough Oncology Accelerator, a pioneering research and clinical collaboration designed to improve patient access to the most innovative and sophisticated therapies for cancer.

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2020 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Virtual Program