Willis-Knighton Cancer Center Patients Included in Groundbreaking Research

Apr 10, 2023

Groundbreaking research from a clinical trial that included leading cancer centers from across the nation and the world could change the way doctors treat endometrial cancer.  Willis-Knighton was not only part of this study but provided the second largest number of participants in North America. The study has shown statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in progression free survival for women who have primary advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer

“This is the biggest news in years for patients with advanced endometrial cancer,” said Destin Black, MD, gynecological oncology surgeon at Willis-Knighton Cancer Center. She was the principal investigator for the clinical trial at Willis-Knighton, published March 27, 2023, in The New England Journal of Medicine.  The Ruby phase 3 trial is an ongoing international randomized, double-blind, multicenter study that included 494 patients worldwide. Willis-Knighton provided 22 of those participants.

The trial evaluated the efficacy and safety of treatment with the study drug, dostarlimab, combined with standard of care chemotherapy followed by maintenance treatment with dostarlimab versus treatment with chemotherapy plus placebo followed by maintenance with placebo.

Eligible patients were females age 18 years or older with histologically or cytologically confirmed disease, Dr. Black said. They were all diagnosed with Stage 3 or 4 disease or first recurrent endometrial cancer with a low potential for a cure by radiation therapy or surgery alone or in combination.

Endometrial cancer is the most common gynecologic malignancy in the United States, Dr. Black noted. It is the fourth most common cancer among females in the U.S. after breast, lung, and colon cancer, and is the sixth most common cancer among women worldwide.

Stages 1 and 2 are considered localized and have a better prognosis than cancer that has spread to other areas of the body (Stages 3 and 4), Dr. Black said. Longterm outcomes remain poor, with median overall survival of less than three years for patients with advanced cases.

“If endometrial cancer is early stage, current treatment usually consists of surgery alone or surgery with radiation. If endometrial cancer is diagnosed at an advanced stage, treatment consists of a combination of chemotherapy with possible surgery,” Dr. Black said. “The findings of this trial now show that the addition of immunotherapy – regimen containing dostarlimab – to standard chemotherapy is associated with a significantly lower risk of progression or death.”