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Activity of Pembrolizumab in Recurrent Cervical Cancer: Case Series and Review of Published Data
  1. Marlene Kranawetter, MD*,
  2. Sebastian Röhrich, MD,
  3. Leonhard Müllauer, MD,
  4. Helena Obermair, MD§,
  5. Alexander Reinthaller, MD*,,
  6. Christoph Grimm, MD*,
  7. Alina Sturdza, MD,
  8. Wolfgang J. Köstler, MD, PhD# and
  9. Stephan Polterauer, MD*,
  1. *Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Comprehensive Cancer Center Vienna,
  2. Department of Biomedical Imaging and Image- Guided Therapy,
  3. Department of Pathology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria;
  4. §University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney, Australia;
  5. Karl Landsteiner Institute for General Gynecology and Experimental Gynecologic Oncology; and
  6. Department of Radiation Oncology, and
  7. #Clinical Division of Oncology, Department of Medicine I and Gynecologic Cancer Center, Comprehensive Cancer Center Vienna, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Stephan Polterauer, MD, Department of General Gynecology and Gynecologic Oncology, Gynecologic Cancer Center, Comprehensive Cancer Center Vienna, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria. Karl Landsteiner Institute for General Gynecology and Experimental Gynecologic Oncology, Spitalgasse 25, 1090 Vienna, Austria. E-mail: stephan.polterauer@meduniwien.ac.at.

Abstract

Objectives Recent data support the use of pembrolizumab in cervical cancer. The aim of this study was to investigate pembrolizumab in heavily pretreated patients with recurrent cervical cancer.

Methods Data from consecutive patients treated with pembrolizumab at a single academic institution were assessed. Programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) status and microsatellite instability were assessed from tumor samples. Irrespective of PD-L1 expression status, pembrolizumab was administered at fixed dose of 200 mg intravenously every 3 weeks. Treatment response was evaluated by computed tomography, using iRECIST (2017) criteria. Descriptive statistics were performed. Results from previous publications were summarized.

Results In total, 11 heavily pretreated patients with recurrent cervical cancer received pembrolizumab. Of these, 2 (18%) patients showed partial response and 2 (18%) patients showed disease stabilization on computed tomography, resulting in a clinical benefit rate of 36%. These 4 patients are still on treatment and durable antitumor activity of up to 52 weeks was observed. Treatment was generally well tolerated with 1 patient showing dose-limiting toxicity. Median overall survival was 26 (3–53) weeks, and a 6-month overall survival rate of 65% was observed. Of the 5 patients with high PD-L1 expression, 3 showed response to treatment.

Conclusions Pembrolizumab shows promising activity in heavily pretreated patients with recurrent cervical cancer in a real-life clinical setting. Treatment was generally well tolerated, and adverse effects were manageable. Growing evidence supports the use of pembrolizumab in this group of patients.

  • Cervical cancer
  • Pembrolizumab
  • PD-L1
  • Check point inhibitor
  • Immunotherapy

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Footnotes

  • The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

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