Sept. 25, 2017:

The Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium (BTCRC) announces the opening of a clinical trial for patients with advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer.

The study, known as BTCRC-GYN15-013, involves pembrolizumab, one of a new class of drugs called PD-1 inhibitors, given in combination with routine care using paclitaxel and carboplatin chemotherapy. [Pictured: Study sponsor-investigator Daniela Matei, MD of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.]

The Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University in Chicago is currently enrolling subjects in this study. Additional member sites within the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium will open the trial in the coming months.

About This Trial

Cancer cells often create proteins called PD-1 that act as signals to turn off part of the immune system that recognizes cancer as foreign. Pembrolizumab blocks this signal and allows the immune system to recognize and attack these cancer cells. The study will allow researchers to know whether the addition of pembrolizumab to standard chemotherapy makes the treatment work better, the same, or worse than the usual approach.

Participants in this study must have stage III or stage IV endometrial carcinoma. Subjects who were treated previously for endometrial cancer and whose cancer has returned must have had a documented completed response from their initial treatment. Additional criteria must be met to be eligible for this study.

“In advanced and recurrent endometrial cancer, patients don’t have a lot of treatment options, and overall survival is fairly limited,” said co-investigator Mario Javier Pineda, MD, PhD. “The hope is that this combination of treatments will provide patients with a safe adverse event profile and still improve overall survival.”

The National Cancer Institute estimates more than 61,000 new cases of endometrial cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2017, representing 3.6 percent of all new cancer cases. About 10,900 women will die of endometrial cancer in 2017.

For more information about this study, including full eligibility requirements, visit www.clinicaltrials.gov (study #NCT02549209).

About the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium: The Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium was created in 2013 to transform the conduct of cancer research through collaborative, hypothesis-driven, highly translational oncology trials that leverage the scientific and clinical expertise of Big Ten universities. The goal of the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium is to create a unique team-research culture to drive science rapidly from ideas to new approaches to cancer treatment. Within this innovative environment, today’s research leaders collaborate with and mentor the research leaders of tomorrow with the unified goal of improving the lives of all patients with cancer.

About the Big Ten Conference: The Big Ten Conference is an association of world-class universities whose member institutions share a common mission of research, graduate, professional and undergraduate teaching and public service. Founded in 1896, the Big Ten has sustained a comprehensive set of shared practices and policies that enforce the priority of academics in the lives of students competing in intercollegiate athletics and emphasize the values of integrity, fairness and competitiveness. The broad-based programs of the 14 Big Ten institutions will provide over $200 million in direct financial support to almost 9,500 students for more than 11,000 participation opportunities on 350 teams in 42 different sports. The Big Ten sponsors 28 official conference sports, 14 for men and 14 for women, including the addition of men’s ice hockey and men’s and women’s lacrosse since 2013. For more information, visit www.bigten.org.