Since October 23, women with advanced endometrial cancer can benefit from a new treatment. How is it administered? What about its effectiveness? An update on this medication, with Dr Odile Bagot, gynecologist.
It is a treatment of hope for many patients. This Tuesday, October 31, the National Medicines Safety Agency (ANSM) announced that it had approved a new treatment against endometrial cancer, which generally affects women after menopause. This is the drug “Jemperli”, developed by the British giant GSK.
A drug available in early access
The marketing of the drug Jemperli on the French market follows the “early access authorization decision (AAP) granted on September 27 by the College of the High Authority for Health (HAS) for a period of 12 months“, specifies the ANSM.
If the treatment was approved even before the European Union medicines authority made a decision; it nevertheless meets certain conditions.
Thus, only adult patients suffering from endometrial cancer and candidates for systemic treatment can benefit from it. At the same time, they must undergo chemotherapy based on platinum salts.
“The drug Jemperli, created from the molecule dostarlimab, is available in early access for women with newly diagnosed or recurrent advanced endometrial cancer“, further specifies the ANSM, in a press release.
Furthermore, only oncology specialists and doctors competent in oncology will be able to prescribe the treatment.
Immunotherapy for certain advanced endometrial cancers
Dostarlimab administered intravenously is an investigational anti-PD-1 (programmed cell death-1) monoclonal antibody. This immunotherapy compound has achieved clinically important results in women with certain recurrent or advanced endometrial cancers. These are endometrial cancers in which cancer cells have genetic abnormalities (called base mismatch repair system deficiency and high microsatellite instability – dMMR/MSI-H) that prevent them from correcting errors that occur during cell division.
Study results demonstrate a 72% and 36% reduction in the risk of disease progression or death observed in the dMMR/MSI-H population and the overall patient population, respectively.
A positive effect of treatment on “progression-free survival” of cancer
For the ANSM, the marketing of this drug represents real hope for all patients: the treatment would indeed improve the rate of “progression-free survival” of cancer, that is to say the duration during which the patient does not experience a worsening of her disease.
A positive effect, but not miraculous, according to Dr. Bagot.
“If this targeted therapy, which belongs to a therapeutic class that has been booming in recent years, improves the chances of cure and survival, it is not necessarily “magic”. If one takes this medicine, it does not mean that one will be cured.“, recalls the expert.
Despite everything, like Europe, certain countries are already convinced of its effectiveness. This is the case in the United States, which approved this drug at the end of the summer.
Endometrial cancer develops in the inner lining of the uterus, or endometrium. There are nearly 10,000 cases per year in Europe. Even though it has a fairly good prognosis compared to other female cancers, it remains the cause of nearly 2,000 deaths per year.