Immunotherapy has brought promising breakthroughs to several types of cancer. Cervical cancer has a relatively large number of mutations (gene changes), which may make it more sensitive to immunotherapy drugs and may apply immunotherapy to cervical cancer.
A number of clinical trials are in full swing, and the researchers recently summarized a phase II trial of single drug nivolumab (Opdivo) for recurrent cervical cancer. Among the 24 patients: 19 had cervical cancer, 5 had vaginal cancer, and 26% of cervical cancer patients responded to the drug, which is an encouraging result.
Researchers will continue to improve the single-drug program through further trials, but are also pursuing another approach: combination trials. Studies using single-agent immunotherapy with drugs such as pembrolizumab (Keytruda) or nivolumab show that 15% -25% of patients are active, but the remaining patients are inactive, and there is much room for improvement. For this reason, the researchers are more focused on combined trials of cervical cancer.
An experiment is under way to pair the immunotherapy drug atezolizumab (Tecentriq) with the anti-angiogenic agent bevacizumab, which prevents cancer cells from forming new blood vessels that need to grow. Bevacizumab is an active drug against cervical cancer, and there are preclinical data that bevacizumab can improve the efficacy of immunotherapy. Therefore, this is an exciting combination of cervical cancer, and we are eagerly awaiting the results of this study.
In another clinical trial, researchers are studying how two immunotherapy drugs, durvalumab (IMFINZI) and tremelimumab, can be combined with radiation therapy to see if radiation can enhance the immune response.
More and more cervical cancer immunotherapy research has added great hope to cervical cancer patients, and we look forward to better treatment effects.