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A pilot clinical trial of the cytidine deaminase inhibitor tetrahydrouridine combined with decitabine to target DNMT1 in advanced, chemorefractory pancreatic cancerDNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) is scientifically validated as a molecular target to treat chemo-resistant pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Results of clinical studies of the pyrimidine nucleoside analog decitabine to target DNMT1 in PDAC have, however, disappointed. One reason is high expression in PDAC of the enzyme cytidine deaminase (CDA), which catabolizes decitabine within minutes. We therefore added tetrahydrouridine (THU) to inhibit CDA with decitabine. In this pilot clinical trial, patients with advanced chemorefractory PDAC ingested oral THU ~10 mg/kg/day combined with oral decitabine ~0.2 mg/kg/day, for 5 consecutive days, then 2X/week. We treated 13 patients with extensively metastatic chemo-resistant PDAC, including 8 patients (62%) with ascites: all had received ≥ 1 prior therapies including gemcitabine/nab-paclitaxel in 9 (69%) and FOLFIRINOX in 12 (92%). Median time on THU/decitabine treatment was 35 days (range 4-63). The most frequent treatment-attributable adverse event was anemia (n=5). No deaths were attributed to THU/decitabine. Five patients had clinical progressive disease (PD) prior to week 8. Eight patients had week 8 evaluation scans: 1 had stable disease and 7 PD. Median overall survival was 3.1 months. Decitabine systemic exposure is expected to decrease neutrophil counts; however, neutropenia was unexpectedly mild. To identify reasons for limited systemic decitabine effect, we measured plasma CDA enzyme activity in PDAC patients, and found a > 10-fold increase in those with metastatic vs resectable PDAC. We concluded that CDA activity is increased not just locally but also systemically in metastatic PDAC, suggesting a need for even higher CDA-inhibitor doses than used here.