Working… Menu

Effect of Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields, 150 kHz) as Front-Line Treatment of Locally-advanced Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma Concomitant With Gemcitabine and Nab-paclitaxel (PANOVA-3)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Know the risks and potential benefits of clinical studies and talk to your health care provider before participating. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT03377491
Recruitment Status : Recruiting
First Posted : December 19, 2017
Last Update Posted : August 23, 2021
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
NovoCure Ltd.

Tracking Information
First Submitted Date  ICMJE December 6, 2017
First Posted Date  ICMJE December 19, 2017
Last Update Posted Date August 23, 2021
Actual Study Start Date  ICMJE May 10, 2018
Estimated Primary Completion Date September 2023   (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Current Primary Outcome Measures  ICMJE
 (submitted: December 18, 2017)
Overall survival [ Time Frame: 4 years ]
Original Primary Outcome Measures  ICMJE Same as current
Change History
Current Secondary Outcome Measures  ICMJE
 (submitted: December 18, 2017)
  • Progression-free survival [ Time Frame: 4 years ]
  • Local progression-free survival [ Time Frame: 4 years ]
  • Objective response rate [ Time Frame: 4 years ]
  • One-year survival rate [ Time Frame: 4 years ]
  • Quality of life [ Time Frame: 4 years ]
    Quality of life will be assessed using the EORTC QLQ C-30 questionnaire with EORTC QLQ-PAN26 (Pancreatic Cancer symptom) supplement.
  • Pain-free survival [ Time Frame: 4 years ]
    Pain-free survival will measured as the duration between the time of randomization until a greater than or equal to two-point decline from a baseline measurement in a patient self-reported visual analogue scale (VAS) is recorded or death, whichever occurs first.
  • Puncture-free survival [ Time Frame: 4 years ]
  • Resectability rate [ Time Frame: 4 years ]
  • Toxicity profile [ Time Frame: 4 years ]
    Toxicity profile in patients treated with TTFields in combination with gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel compared to the toxicity profile of patients treated with chemotherapy alone, measured by the rate of treatment-emergent toxicities in both arms. Adverse events will be collected and recorded based on the revised Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE) version 4.03.
Original Secondary Outcome Measures  ICMJE Same as current
Current Other Pre-specified Outcome Measures Not Provided
Original Other Pre-specified Outcome Measures Not Provided
Descriptive Information
Brief Title  ICMJE Effect of Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields, 150 kHz) as Front-Line Treatment of Locally-advanced Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma Concomitant With Gemcitabine and Nab-paclitaxel (PANOVA-3)
Official Title  ICMJE Pivotal, Randomized, Open-label Study of Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields, 150kHz) Concomitant With Gemcitabine and Nab-paclitaxel for Front-line Treatment of Locally-advanced Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma
Brief Summary

Brief Summary:

The study is a prospective, randomized controlled phase III trial aimed to test the efficacy and safety of Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields) in combination with gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel, for front line treatment of locally-advanced pancreatic adenocarcinoma.The device is an experimental, portable, battery operated device for chronic administration of alternating electric fields (termed TTFields or TTF) to the region of the malignant tumor, by means of surface, insulated electrode arrays.

Detailed Description


The effect of the electric fields (TTFields, TTF) has demonstrated significant activity in in vitro and in vivo pancreatic adenocarcinoma pre-clinical models both as a single modality treatment and in combination with chemotherapies. TTFields have been demonstrated to act synergistically with taxanes and have been shown to be additive when combined with other chemotherapies including gemcitabine. In addition, TTFields have shown to inhibit metastatic spread of malignant melanoma in in vivo experiment.

In a pilot study, 40 patients with locally advanced or metastatic pancreatic adenocarcinoma received gemcitabine together with TTFields (150 kHz) or gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel together with TTFields (150 kHz) applied to the abdomen until disease progression. The combination was well tolerated and the only device-related adverse event was contact dermatitis.

In addition, a phase III trial of Optune® (200 kHz) as monotherapy compared to active chemotherapy in recurrent glioblastoma patients showed TTFields to be equivalent to active chemotherapy in extending survival, associated with minimal toxicity, good quality of life, and activity within the brain (14% response rate) (Stupp R., et al., EJC 2012). Finally, a phase III trial of Optune® combined with maintenance temozolomide compared to maintenance temozolomide alone has shown that combined therapy led to a significant improvement in both progression free survival and overall survival in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma without the addition of high grade toxicity and without decline in quality of life (Stupp R., et al., JAMA 2017).


All patients included in this trial are patients with locally advanced pancreatic adenocarcinoma. In addition, all patients must meet all eligibility criteria.

Eligible patients will be randomly assigned to one of two groups:

  1. Patients receive gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel in combination with TTFields using the NovoTTF-100L(P) System.
  2. Patients receive gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel without TTFields.

Patients will be randomized at a 1:1 ratio. Baseline tests will be performed in patients enrolled in both arms. If assigned to the NovoTTF-100L(P) group, the patients will be treated continuously with the device until progression in the abdomen. On both arms, patients who have progression outside the abdomen will switch to a second line treatment according to local practice.


Electric fields exert forces on electric charges similar to the way a magnet exerts forces on metallic particles within a magnetic field. These forces cause movement and rotation of electrically charged biological building blocks, much like the alignment of metallic particles seen along the lines of force radiating outwards from a magnet.

Electric fields can also cause muscles to twitch and if strong enough may heat tissues. TTFields are alternating electric fields of low intensity. This means that they change their direction repetitively many times a second. Since they change direction very rapidly (150 thousand times a second), they do not cause muscles to twitch, nor do they have any effects on other electrically activated tissues in the body (brain, nerves and heart). Since the intensities of TTFields in the body are very low, they do not cause heating.

The breakthrough finding made by Novocure was that finely tuned alternating fields of very low intensity, now termed TTFields (Tumor Treating Fields), cause a significant slowing in the growth of cancer cells. Due to the unique geometric shape of cancer cells when they are multiplying, TTFields cause electrically-charged cellular components of these cells to change their location within the dividing cell, disrupting their normal function and ultimately leading to cell death. In addition, cancer cells also contain miniature building blocks which act as tiny motors in moving essential parts of the cells from place to place. TTFields interfere with the normal orientation of these tiny motors related to other cellular components since they are electrically-charged as well. As a result of these two effects, tumor cell division is slowed, results in cellular death or reverses after continuous exposure to TTFields.

Other cells in the body (normal healthy tissues) are affected much less than cancer cells since they multiply at a much slower rate if at all. In addition TTFields can be directed to a certain part of the body, leaving sensitive areas out of their reach. Finally, the frequency of TTFields applied to each type of cancer is specific and may not damage normally dividing cells in healthy tissues.

In conclusion, TTFields hold the promise of serving as a brand new treatment for pancreatic adenocarcinoma with very few side effects.

Study Type  ICMJE Interventional
Study Phase  ICMJE Phase 3
Study Design  ICMJE Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Condition  ICMJE Pancreas Adenocarcinoma
Intervention  ICMJE
  • Device: NovoTTF-100L(P)
    Patients receive continuous TTFields treatment using the NovoTTF-100L(P) device. TTFields treatment will consist of wearing four electrically insulated electrode arrays on the torso. The treatment enables the patient to maintain regular daily routine.
    Other Name: TTFields
  • Drug: Gemcitabine
    Gemcitabine 1000 mg/m^2 over 30 minute infusion will be administered immediately after nab-paclitaxel on Days 1, 8 and 15 of each 28-day cycle.
  • Drug: nab paclitaxel
    nab-paclitaxel 125 mg/m^2 administered as an intravenous infusion over 30-40 minutes on Days 1, 8 and 15 of each 28-day cycle.
Study Arms  ICMJE
  • Experimental: NovoTTF-100L(P)
    Patients receive TTFields using the NovoTTF-100L(P) System together with gemcitabine and nab-Paclitaxel
    • Device: NovoTTF-100L(P)
    • Drug: Gemcitabine
    • Drug: nab paclitaxel
  • Active Comparator: Best Standard of Care
    Patients receive best standard of care with gemcitabine and nab-Paclitaxel
    • Drug: Gemcitabine
    • Drug: nab paclitaxel
Publications *

*   Includes publications given by the data provider as well as publications identified by Identifier (NCT Number) in Medline.
Recruitment Information
Recruitment Status  ICMJE Recruiting
Estimated Enrollment  ICMJE
 (submitted: December 18, 2017)
Original Estimated Enrollment  ICMJE Same as current
Estimated Study Completion Date  ICMJE September 2023
Estimated Primary Completion Date September 2023   (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Eligibility Criteria  ICMJE

Inclusion Criteria:

  1. 18 years of age and older
  2. Life expectancy of ≥ 3 months
  3. Histological/cytological diagnosis of de novo adenocarcinoma of the pancreas
  4. Unresectable, locally advanced stage disease according to the following criteria:

    • Head/uncinate process:

      1. Solid tumor contact with SMA>180°
      2. Solid tumor contact with the CA>180°
      3. Solid tumor contact with the first jejunal SMA branch
      4. Unreconstructible SMV/PV due to tumor involvement or occlusion (can be d/t tumor or bland thrombus)
      5. Contact with most proximal draining jejunal branch into SMV
    • Body and tail

      1. Solid tumor contact of >180° with the SMA or CA
      2. Solid tumor contact with the CA and aortic involvement
      3. Unreconstructible SMV/PV due to tumor involvement or occlusion (can be d/t tumor or bland thrombus)
    • No distant metastasis, including non-regional lymph node metastasis
    • No borderline resectable (per Al-Hawary MM, et al., Radiology 201414)
  5. ECOG score 0-2
  6. Amenable and assigned by the investigator to receive therapy with gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel
  7. Able to operate the NovoTTF-100L(P) System independently or with the help of a caregiver
  8. Signed informed consent form for the study protocol

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. Prior palliative treatment (e.g. surgery, radiation) to the tumor
  2. Cancer requiring anti-tumor treatment within the 5 years before inclusion, excluding treated stage I prostate cancer, in situ cervical or uterus cancer, in situ breast cancer and non-melanomatous skin cancer.
  3. Serious co-morbidities:

    1. Clinically significant (as determined by the investigator) hematological, hepatic and renal dysfunction, defined as: Neutrophil count < 1.5 x 10^9/L and platelet count < 100 x 10^9/L; bilirubin > 1.5 x Upper Limit of Normal (ULN); AST and/or ALT > 2.5 x ULN; and serum creatinine > 1.5 x ULN.
    2. History of significant cardiovascular disease unless the disease is well controlled. Significant cardiac disease includes second/third degree heart block; significant ischemic heart disease; poorly controlled hypertension; congestive heart failure of the New York Heart Association (NYHA) Class II or worse (slight limitation of physical activity; comfortable at rest, but ordinary activity results in fatigue, palpitation or dyspnea).
    3. History of arrhythmia that is symptomatic or requires treatment. Patients with atrial fibrillation or flutter controlled by medication are not excluded from participation in the trial.
    4. History of cerebrovascular accident (CVA) within 6 months prior to randomization or that is not stable.
    5. Active infection or serious underlying medical condition that would impair the ability of the patient to receive protocol therapy.
    6. History of any psychiatric condition that might impair patient's ability to understand or comply with the requirements of the study or to provide consent.
  4. Concurrent anti-tumor therapy beyond gemcitabine and nab-paclitaxel
  5. Implantable electronic medical devices in the torso, such as pacemakers
  6. Known severe hypersensitivities to medical adhesives or hydrogel, or to one of the chemotherapies used in this trial.
  7. Pregnancy or breast-feeding (female patients with reproductive potential and their partners must accept to use effective contraception throughout the entire study period and for 3 months after the end of treatment). All patients who are capable of becoming pregnant must take a pregnancy test which is negative within 72 hours before beginning treatment. The definition of effective contraception is left up to the decision of the investigator.
  8. Unable to follow the protocol for medical, psychological, familial, geographic or other reasons.
  9. Admitted to an institution by administrative or court order.
Sex/Gender  ICMJE
Sexes Eligible for Study: All
Ages  ICMJE 18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Accepts Healthy Volunteers  ICMJE No
Contacts  ICMJE
Contact: Doris Lang +1 603 206 2337
Contact: Maja Vuk +1 603 206 2337
Listed Location Countries  ICMJE Austria,   Belgium,   Canada,   Croatia,   Czechia,   France,   Germany,   Hong Kong,   Hungary,   Israel,   Italy,   Poland,   Spain,   Switzerland,   United States
Removed Location Countries  
Administrative Information
NCT Number  ICMJE NCT03377491
Other Study ID Numbers  ICMJE EF-27
Has Data Monitoring Committee Yes
U.S. FDA-regulated Product
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: Yes
Device Product Not Approved or Cleared by U.S. FDA: Yes
IPD Sharing Statement  ICMJE Not Provided
Responsible Party NovoCure Ltd.
Study Sponsor  ICMJE NovoCure Ltd.
Collaborators  ICMJE Not Provided
Investigators  ICMJE Not Provided
PRS Account NovoCure Ltd.
Verification Date August 2021

ICMJE     Data element required by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and the World Health Organization ICTRP