PRIMMO-study shows poor response to combination treatment for women with cervical or endometrial cancer
Brussels – The phase II results of the PRIMMO-study in cervical and endometrial cancer have been published. The study was funded by the Anticancer Fund, Kom op tegen Kanker and the players of the National Lottery (Belgium). The trial aimed to improve the treatment of patients through a combination of 7 therapies that, together, would aggressively attack the tumour. Although the laboratory research was promising at first, the results did not meet our expectations.
Cervical and endometrial cancers are gynaecological cancers with a high risk of recurrence and few treatments options are available. For these reasons, the purpose of the PRIMMO-study, launched in 2018, was to find an effective and less toxic treatment for women with persistent, recurrent, or metastatic cervical or endometrial carcinoma.
During the trial, conducted in 4 Belgian cancer centres, patients received an immunomodulatory five-drug cocktail (IDC) consisting of low-dose cyclophosphamide, aspirin, lansoprazole, vitamin D, and curcumin, followed by radioimmunotherapy. Pembrolizumab was administered onwards.
The study resulted in a benefit for difficult-to-treat patients
It appeared that adding a combination of 6 therapies to the immune checkpoint inhibitor (pembrolizumab) was justified by preclinical evidence but did not meet the expectations of clinical activity. However, some patients may have derived benefit from the treatment, as durable responses in difficult-to-treat patients were noticed.
'This trial has been a great collective effort to give access to innovative therapies to Belgian patients with cancers that receive little attention. For that reason, regardless of the results, there is a lot of positive to draw from this experience’, said Gauthier Bouche, director Clinical Research of the Anticancer Fund.
The PRIMMO-study was co-financed by the Anticancer Fund, Kom op tegen Kanker and the players of the National Lottery (Belgium).
The Anticancer Fund has funded this study because it involved the repurposing of drugs and this strategy of finding new indications for existing medicines, is one of the focus research areas of our organisation. Moreover, this trial explored immunotherapy, an innovative approach that has shown a positive impact on curing cancer and increasing survival. We believed combining immunotherapy to radiotherapy and 5 existing drugs was a treatment path that was worth exploring.
The results as published in Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy