Dr. Powell Discusses Immunotherapy in Ovarian Cancer

Matthew Powell, MD
Published: Tuesday, Aug 21, 2018



Matthew Powell, MD, associate professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Washington University School of Medicine, discusses immunotherapy in ovarian cancer.

Immunotherapy is an emerging area in the treatment landscape of gynecologic malignancies. Currently, there is only a small cohort of patients with ovarian cancer who have tumors that are microsatellite instability-high that respond to immunotherapy, Powell says. Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) has shown antitumor activity in patients with PD-L1–overexpressing ovarian cancer, according to results of the KEYNOTE-100 study.

The initial phase II studies looking at efficacy in recurrent ovarian cancer have been disappointing, Powell says. These low response rates have prompted investigators to look into combination therapy for these patients. Immunotherapy in combination with chemotherapy induces neoantigens, Powell says, and it may be a compelling combination. Anti-VEGF strategies and PARP inhibitors in combination with immunotherapy are also being investigated, Powell adds.
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Matthew Powell, MD, associate professor, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Washington University School of Medicine, discusses immunotherapy in ovarian cancer.

Immunotherapy is an emerging area in the treatment landscape of gynecologic malignancies. Currently, there is only a small cohort of patients with ovarian cancer who have tumors that are microsatellite instability-high that respond to immunotherapy, Powell says. Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) has shown antitumor activity in patients with PD-L1–overexpressing ovarian cancer, according to results of the KEYNOTE-100 study.

The initial phase II studies looking at efficacy in recurrent ovarian cancer have been disappointing, Powell says. These low response rates have prompted investigators to look into combination therapy for these patients. Immunotherapy in combination with chemotherapy induces neoantigens, Powell says, and it may be a compelling combination. Anti-VEGF strategies and PARP inhibitors in combination with immunotherapy are also being investigated, Powell adds.

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