Clinical Trial Demonstrates Significant Improvement for Women With Advanced or Recurrent Endometrial Cancer

Uterine Endometrial Cancer Therapy Concept

Endometrial cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the lining of the uterus, called the endometrium. It is the most common type of uterine cancer. Symptoms can include abnormal vaginal bleeding, pelvic pain, and weight loss. The exact cause of endometrial cancer is not known, but certain factors such as obesity, hormonal imbalances, and a family history of cancer may increase the risk. Treatment options for endometrial cancer may include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Early detection and treatment can greatly improve the chances of a positive outcome.

NRG Oncology NRG-GY018 study demonstrates significantly improved progression free survival outcomes for women with advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer with the addition of pembrolizumab to chemotherapy.

NRG Oncology Phase III clinical trial, NRG-GY018, evaluating pembrolizumab in combination with standard of care chemotherapy (carboplatin and paclitaxel) met its primary endpoint of progression free survival (PFS) for the treatment of patients with stage III-IV or recurrent endometrial carcinoma, regardless of mismatch repair status. A pre-specified interim analysis, conducted by an independent Data Monitoring Committee, demonstrates that pembrolizumab in combination with chemotherapy has a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in PFS compared with chemotherapy alone in both study cohorts, mismatch repair deficient (dMMR) and mismatch repair proficient (pMMR). The full results of this trial will be presented at an upcoming scientific conference.

NRG-GY018, a randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled study, accrued 819 women with stage III-IV or recurrent endometrial cancer. Two independent cohorts were evaluated, patients with endometrial cancers that are dMMR and patients with endometrial cancers that are pMMR. Patients were randomly assigned to receive pembrolizumab combined with carboplatin and paclitaxel (for a planned six, 3-week cycles), followed by pembrolizumab maintenance (for up to fourteen, 6 week cycles) or placebo combined with carboplatin and paclitaxel, followed by placebo maintenance.    

“Patients with advanced stage or recurrent endometrial cancer, the most common type of gynecologic cancer in the U.S., face a poor prognosis with limited treatment options. This is particularly notable in patients who progress after prior platinum-based adjuvant therapy with disease not amenable to curative surgery or radiation,” stated Ramez Eskander, MD, of the University of California San Diego Moores Cancer Center and the Principal Investigator of the NRG-GY018 trial. “In this study, pembrolizumab in combination with carboplatin and paclitaxel resulted in a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in PFS in both the dMMR and pMMR study populations.  We look forward to presenting these exciting findings at an upcoming scientific congress.”

This project was supported by the NRG Oncology Operations grant U10CA180868 and the NRG Oncology SDMC grant U10CA180822 from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health and conducted by the NCI National Clinical Trials Network. Funding and support were also received from Merck & Co., Inc. through a Cooperative Research and Developmental Agreement with NCI.  NRG-GY018 was conducted with funding supplemental to the CRADA from Merck in an Agreement between Merck and The GOG Foundation d/b/a NRG Oncology Philadelphia East.

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