by Dr. C.H. Weaver M.D. 4/2019
Doctors from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York report that the combination of Lenvima (lenvatinib) plus Keytruda (pembrolizumab) may represent a new treatment option for patients with advanced uterine (endometrial) cancer. (1)
Lenvima is a multikinase receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) inhibitor that inhibits the kinase activities of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptors VEGFR1-3. Lenvima™ also inhibits other RTKs that have been implicated in cancer progression in addition to their normal cellular functions, including fibroblast growth factor (FGF) receptors FGFR1-4 and the platelet derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFR), KIT, and RET. Learn more about Lenvima
About Keytruda Checkpoint Inhibitors
Keytruda belongs to a class of medicines called “checkpoint inhibitors.” Checkpoint inhibitors are a novel precision cancer immunotherapy that helps to restore the body’s immune system in fighting cancer by releasing checkpoints that cancer uses to shut down the immune system. PD-1 and PD-L1 are proteins that inhibit certain types of immune responses, allowing cancer cells to evade detection and attack by certain immune cells in the body. A checkpoint inhibitor can block the PD-1 and PD-L1 pathway and enhance the ability of the immune system to fight cancer. By blocking the binding of the PD-L1 ligand these drugs restore an immune cells’ ability to recognize and fight the colon cancer cells.
Between September 10, 2015, and July 24, 2017 doctors enrolled 54 patients with metastatic endometrial cancer at 11 centers across the United States to receive treatment with Lenvima 20 mg daily plus Keytruda 200 mg every 3 weeks.
Overall 40% of patients responded to treatment when assessed 24 weeks after beginning therapy. Treatment was well tolerated however patients did report some side effects. Fatigue, diarrhea, and hypothyroidism were the most common.
The researchers believe that “Lenvima plus Keytruda could represent a new potential treatment option for this patient population and is being investigated in a randomized phase 3 clinical study.”
Lancet Oncol. 2019 Mar 25. Epub ahead of print.