New Trials in Gynecologic Cancers: Could Your Patient Benefit?

Helen Leask

November 23, 2021

A number of clinical trials in gynecologic cancers have opened in recent months. Maybe one of your patients could benefit from being enrolled.

Uterine precancer (endometrial intraepithelial neoplasia). A phase 2 study sponsored by the National Cancer Institute is seeking adults with endometrial intraepithelial neoplasia (also called complex atypical hyperplasia or atypical hyperplasia) who are scheduled for hysterectomy within 3 months. Researchers are using the window of opportunity before an already-scheduled hysterectomy to see whether adding metformin to megestrol acetate, a treatment standard for nonsurgical patients, increases the effectiveness of megestrol in slowing this type of neoplasia. Participants will receive twice-daily oral medication for 4 weeks then undergo hysterectomy. The trial aims to enroll 50 participants. It began recruiting on September 21 at its Northwestern University site, in Evanston, Illinois; sites in California, Colorado, and North Carolina are also planned. The primary outcome is the change in endometrial cell proliferation. Overall survival (OS) and quality of life (QoL) will not be measured. More details at

Maurie Markman, MD, president of medicine and science at Cancer Treatment Centers of America, who is not involved in this trial, was approached for comment. "This is an interesting study concept, and patients with endometrial atypical hyperplasia may certainly wish to consider participation," Markman said. He noted the "limited sample size" of the study.

Advanced, recurrent or refractory ovarian, fallopian, and endometrial cancers overexpressing folate-receptor alpha (FRα). Patients with these types of cancers are eligible for a phase 1/2 study of a new-concept targeted therapy called ELU-001. The molecular structure of ELU001 ― called a C'Dot drug conjugate (CDC) ― consists of a drug "payload" riding with an FRα-targeting molecule. For the first 28 days of the study, patients will receive escalating intravenous doses of ELU001 to determine the highest tolerated dose of the drug. All participants will then receive the selected dose for up to 12 months until lesions disappear (complete response) or there is a 30% decrease in the sum of the tumors' longest diameter (partial response). This "basket" study ― a trial involving a "basket" of different cancers with one genetic target ― is hosted by New Experimental Therapeutics of San Antonio, which started recruitment for 166 patients on September 13. Neither OS nor QoL will be tracked. More details at

Markman commented, "There is considerable interest in examining antineoplastic agents directed to tumor antigens overexpressed in ovarian cancer."

Locally recurrent, unresectable, or metastatic cervical or endometrial cancer positive for PD-L1. Adults with these types of cancers are invited to join another basket trial, this time testing MK-7684A, a new co-formulation of pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and the investigational drug vibostolimab. Most participants will receive intravenous infusions of either MK-7684A, MK-7684A plus chemotherapy, or pembrolizumab alone every 3 weeks for up to 3 years. One group will be given MK-7684A every 3 weeks plus paclitaxel weekly. People with endometrial cancer will also take a daily capsule of lenvatinib (Lenvima). The primary outcomes are response rate and progression-free survival; OS and QoL are secondary outcomes. The study opened on September 16 and hopes to recruit 480 participants in eight countries with several different cancers, including cervical and endometrial cancers. US patients can join at the City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, California. More details at

Persistent or recurrent rare epithelial tumors of the ovary, fallopian tube, or peritoneum. Adults with these cancers are sought for a phase 2 trial comparing four targeted-therapy regimens. Participants will receive either ipatasertib plus paclitaxel (Taxol); cobimetinib (Cotellic); trastuzumab emtansine (Kadcyla); or atezolizumab (Tecentriq) plus bevacizumab (Avastin) for up to 5 years until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. Ipatasertib and cobimetinib are oral medications; all the others are administered intravenously on schedules that vary from once every 3 weeks (atezolizumab, trastuzumab) to weekly infusions 3 weeks out of 4 (paclitaxel). The study opened on October 7 and hopes to enroll 200 participants at sites in Arizona, California, Minnesota, Missouri, Texas, Virginia, and worldwide. OS will be tracked, QoL will not. More details at

Markman commented, "This is an interesting early study of the potential efficacy of a novel AKT inhibitor [ipatasertib] in rare gynecologic cancers."

Platinum-resistant or refractory high-grade serous ovarian cancer. Adult women whose high-grade serous ovarian cancer is platinum resistant or refractory and who do not have germline BRCA mutations are sought for a phase 3 study comparing alpelisib (Piqray) plus olaparib (Lynparza) to investigator's choice of chemotherapy. Alpelisib is approved for breast cancer in combination with fulvestrant; olaparib is approved for advanced ovarian cancer in platinum-responsive patients and/or those with BRCA- or HRD-positive tumors, so this study could lead to labeling changes for these drugs. Participants will either take daily oral doses of alpelisib plus olaparib or receive intravenous chemo on the appropriate schedules for approximately 2 years. Progression-free survival is the primary outcome measure; OS and QoL are secondary outcomes. The trial opened on July 2 and hopes to recruit 358 individuals in Singapore, Australia, Europe, and the United States (Arizona, Illinois, and Texas). More details at

All trial information is from the National Institutes of Health US National Library of Medicine (online at

Markman is not involved with any of these trials. He is a regular contributor to Medscape Oncology. He has received income in an amount equal to or greater than $250 from Genentech, AstraZeneca Celgene, Clovis, Amgen.

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