New Clinical Trial Testing Paricalcitol Aims to Treat Pain in Chronic Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is the inflammation of the pancreas. Chronic pancreatitis is when repeated episodes of inflammation lead to fibrosis–or scarring–that damages the pancreas. This fibrosis can cause exocrine pancreatic insufficiency and diabetes. Chronic pancreatitis is extremely painful. 

What is the treatment for chronic pancreatitis?

Currently, chronic pancreatitis treatment is focused on symptom management. There are no therapies that stop or reverse the disease. However, Mission: Cure is working to help discover and accelerate effective treatments

What is paricalcitol?

Paricalcitol (also known as Zemplar) is a prescription form of vitamin D, currently used to treat chronic kidney disease. Paricalcitol works by reducing hormone levels in the parathyroid and helps the body better absorb calcium and phosphorus. Dr. Stephen Pandol and his colleagues at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center hope that paricalcitol will improve the quality of life of those suffering from chronic pancreatitis and slow disease progression.

What is drug repurposing?

Drug repurposing explores new uses for drugs that have already been approved for other diseases. The process uses drugs that have already gone through rigorous testing – cutting down on cost and development time.

What is the goal of the clinical trial?

The goal of the clinical trial is to test the safety and effectiveness of paricalcitol in people with chronic pancreatitis. The study also aims to improve symptoms and reduce the pain of chronic pancreatitis. 

Who can participate in the clinical trial?

People ages 18 to 75 who have been diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis, not attributed to gallstones, medication, trauma, or autoimmune disease, and who have clinical symptoms (including pain not adequately controlled with medications) may be eligible for this study. Those who have had pancreatic surgery are not eligible to enroll in this study. 

Participants must also:

  • Have normal calcium levels (8.5 to 10.2 mg/dL) 
  • Have normal phosphate levels (2.8 to 4.5 mg/dL) 
  • Have normal parathyroid hormone levels (10 to 65 pg/mL) 
  • Be able to take oral medication and be willing to adhere to the dosing regimen 
  • Be willing to use contraception 1 week prior to screening, during the study, and 1 month after the study 

You are not eligible to participate if: 

  • You are pregnant 
  • You have had pancreatic surgery
  • You have been diagnosed with pancreatic tumors

What does the clinical trial include?

Participants must be able to travel to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles 4 times over the course of a year. Testing procedures will be conducted in L.A. and may include blood tests, questionnaires, and the review of medical records. Participants will either receive a “placebo” pill once daily for 12 months, or they will receive paricalcitol for 12 months. To learn more about the clinical trial and see if it is right for you, contact Robert Marker by calling 310‐423‐0901 or emailing

Stay Up-To-Date on the Latest Pancreatitis Advancements

Mission: Cure is a coalition of patients, doctors, researchers, and entrepreneurs pioneering a new approach to curing diseases through innovative, outcome-based financing. Headquartered in New York City and operating virtually, Mission: Cure collaborates with researchers, innovators, and impact investors to discover life-altering therapies and bring them to patients. Currently, Mission: Cure is focused on accelerating a cure for pancreatitis. Support Mission: Cure by donating at, and stay up-to-date with the latest pancreatitis news by subscribing to Mission: Cure’s newsletter, following Mission: Cure on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and subscribing to its YouTube Channel. Join Mission: Cure’s pancreatitis communities on HealthUnlocked and Facebook.

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