A Trial of Pembrolizumab and Metformin Versus Pembrolizumab Alone in Advanced Melanoma

  • End date
    Dec 22, 2028
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Yana Najjar
Updated on 22 March 2022
flow cytometry
measurable disease
investigational drug
international normalized ratio
neutrophil count
brain metastases
urine test


The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of the combination of Pembrolizumab (KEYTRUDA®) and the investigational drug, Metformin.


Patients are being asked to take part in this clinical research study because they have advanced, un-resectable stage III or IV Melanoma. If they participate they will be randomized to receive Pembrolizumab (KEYTRUDA®) or the combination of Pembrolizumab (KEYTRUDA®) plus Metformin.

This research study will evaluate the effectiveness and safety of the combination of Pembrolizumab (KEYTRUDA®) and the investigational drug, Metformin.

Patients will be randomized into one of two groups - either Arm A or Arm B. In Arm A, patients will receive pembrolizumab alone. In Arm B, patients will receive both pembrolizumab and metformin.

If patients are randomized to Arm A, they will be administered pembrolizumab (200 mg), by IV, every three weeks. After the first three doses, pembrolizumab dosing can be changed to 400mg IV every 6 weeks, at the treating physician's discretion. Pembrolizumab can be administered up to two years, if disease does not progress or have unacceptable toxicity. However, if the disease progresses the patient may continue on the study if they are clinically stable or clinically improved.

If patients are randomized to Arm B, they will be administered pembrolizumab (200 mg), by IV, every three weeks, plus metformin (500 mg), twice a day for nine weeks. Metformin will be taken in the morning and evening, 12hrs apart, with food. After the first three doses, pembrolizumab dosing can be changed to 400mg IV every 6 weeks, at the treating physician's discretion.

Discontinuation of treatment may be considered for patients who have attained a confirmed complete response that have been treated for at least 24 weeks with pembrolizumab and had at least two treatments with pembrolizumab beyond the date when the initial complete response was declared.

Patients will be followed for 5 years after removal from study or until death, whichever occurs first, through standard of care visits, phone call or by medical records review.

Condition Advanced Melanoma
Treatment Metformin, Pembrolizumab Injection [Keytruda]
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03311308
SponsorYana Najjar
Last Modified on22 March 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Be willing and able to provide written informed consent for the trial
Have un-resectable (stage III) or advanced (stage IV) melanoma
Be 18 years of age or older on day of signing informed consent
Have measurable disease based on RECIST 1.1. Patients without measurable disease may be included on study after discussion with the Sponsor, given that the primary endpoint of the study is Ki-67 of TIL (flow cytometry)
Have biopsiable disease. Be willing to provide tissue from a newly obtained biopsy of a tumor lesion. Newly-obtained is defined as a specimen obtained up to 30 days prior to initiation of treatment on Day 1
Patients may have received prior adjuvant therapy with anti-PD-1, anti-CTLA-4, or BRAF/MEK inhibitors
Patients may be immunotherapy treatment naïve in the advanced setting or may be on anti-PD-1 therapy with SD or PR for at least 12 weeks. Patients may have received ipilimumab plus nivolumab in the metastatic setting with SD or PR for at least 12 weeks on maintenance anti-PD1
Have a performance status of 0, 1 or 2 on the ECOG Performance Scale
Have a baseline HbA1c ≤ 6.4
Demonstrate adequate organ function. All screening labs should be performed within 14 days of treatment initiation
Absolute neutrophil count (ANC) ≥1,500 /mcL
Platelets ≥100,000 / mcL
Hemoglobin ≥9 g/dL or ≥5.6 mmol/L without transfusion or EPO dependency (within 7 days of assessment)
Serum creatinine OR Measured or calculateda creatinine clearance ≤1.5 X upper limit of normal (ULN) (GFR can also be used in place of creatinine or CrCl ≥60 mL/min for subject with creatinine levels > 1.5 X institutional ULN)
Serum total bilirubin ≤ 1.5 X ULN OR Direct bilirubin ≤ ULN for subjects with total bilirubin levels > 1.5 ULN
AST (SGOT) and ALT (SGPT) ≤ 2.5 X ULN OR ≤ 5 X ULN for subjects with liver metastases
Albumin >2.5 mg/dL
International Normalized Ratio (INR) or Prothrombin Time (PT) ≤1.5 X ULN unless subject is receiving anticoagulant therapy as long as PT or PTT is within therapeutic range of intended use of anticoagulants; Activated Partial Thromboplastin Time (aPTT) ≤1.5 X ULN unless subject is receiving anticoagulant therapy as long as PT or PTT is within therapeutic range of intended use of anticoagulants
Patients must be free of active brain metastases by contrast-enhanced CT/MRI scans
Patients who have received radiation may be enrolled if the treating physician determines that they have recovered from radiation and are not experiencing radiation related clinically significant adverse events
within 2 weeks prior to starting the study drugs. If known to have prior brain
Female patients of child bearing potential must have a negative urine or serum pregnancy test within 7 days from the time of registration
metastases, must not have evidence of active (enlarging and/or symptomatic
lesions) brain disease on MRI evaluation within 4 weeks from SRS or WBRT
Female subject of childbearing potential should have a negative urine or serum pregnancy within 72 hours prior to receiving the first dose of study medication. If the urine test is positive or cannot be confirmed as negative, a serum pregnancy test will be required
Female subjects of childbearing potential should be willing to use 2 methods of birth control or be surgically sterile, or abstain from heterosexual activity for the course of the study through 120 days after the last dose of study medication. Subjects of childbearing potential are those who have not been surgically sterilized or have not been free from menses for > 1 year
Male subjects should agree to use an adequate method of contraception starting with the first dose of study therapy through 120 days after the last dose of study therapy

Exclusion Criteria

Has a diagnosis of immunodeficiency or is receiving systemic steroid therapy or any other form of immunosuppressive therapy within 7 days prior to the first dose of trial treatment
Has a known history of active TB (Bacillus Tuberculosis)
Hypersensitivity to pembrolizumab or any of its excipients
Has a current confirmed diagnosis of type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes that has been diagnosed by an HbA1c ≥6.5, or is on any hypoglycemic medications (insulin, metformin, etc). Patients with a screening HbA1c 6.5-7.0 may be included after discussion with the principal investigator. Patients currently on metformin will be excluded
Has a known additional malignancy that is progressing or requires active treatment. Exceptions include basal cell carcinoma of the skin or squamous cell carcinoma of the skin that has undergone potentially curative therapy or in situ cervical cancer
Has known active central nervous system (CNS) metastases and/or carcinomatous meningitis. Subjects with previously treated brain metastases may participate provided they are stable (without evidence of progression by imaging for at least two weeks prior to the first dose of trial treatment and any neurologic symptoms have returned to baseline), have no evidence of new or enlarging brain metastases, and are not using steroids for at least 7 days prior to trial treatment. This exception does not include carcinomatous meningitis which is excluded regardless of clinical stability
Has active autoimmune disease that has required systemic treatment in the past 2 years (i.e. with use of disease modifying agents, corticosteroids or immunosuppressive drugs). Replacement therapy (eg., thyroxineor physiologic corticosteroid replacement therapy for adrenal or pituitary insufficiency, etc.) is not considered a form of systemic treatment
Has had a prior anti-cancer monoclonal antibody (mAb) within 4 weeks prior to study Day 1 (this excludes patients on anti-PD1) or who has not recovered (i.e., ≤ Grade 1 or at baseline) from adverse events due to agents administered more than 4 weeks earlier
Has a history of (non-infectious) pneumonitis that required steroids or current pneumonitis
Has had prior chemotherapy, targeted small molecule therapy, or radiation therapy within 2 weeks prior to study Day 1 or who has not recovered (i.e., ≤ Grade 1 or at baseline) from adverse events due to a previously administered agent. Note: Subjects with ≤ Grade 2 neuropathy are an exception to this criterion and may qualify for the study. If subject received major surgery, they must have recovered adequately from the toxicity and/or complications from the intervention prior to starting therapy
Has an active infection requiring systemic IV antibiotic therapy
Has a history or current evidence of any condition, therapy, or laboratory abnormality that might confound the results of the trial, interfere with the subject's participation for the full duration of the trial, or is not in the best interest of the subject to participate, in the opinion of the treating investigator
Has known psychiatric or substance abuse disorders that would interfere with cooperation with the requirements of the trial
Is pregnant or breastfeeding, or expecting to conceive or father children within the projected duration of the trial, starting with the pre-screening or screening visit through 120 days after the last dose of trial treatment
Has a known history of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) (HIV 1/2 antibodies)
Has a known history of or is positive for hepatitis B (hepatitis B surface antigen [HBsAg] reactive) or hepatitis C (hepatitis C virus [HCV] RNA [qualitative] is detected). Note: Without known history, testing only needs to be performed if there is clinical suspicion for Hepatitis B or C
Has received a live vaccine within 30 days of planned start of study therapy. Note: Seasonal influenza vaccines for injection are generally inactivated flu vaccines and are allowed; however intranasal influenza vaccines (e.g., Flu-Mist®) are live attenuated vaccines, and are not allowed
Clear my responses

How to participate?

Step 1 Connect with a study center
What happens next?
  • You can expect the study team to contact you via email or phone in the next few days.
  • Sign up as volunteer  to help accelerate the development of new treatments and to get notified about similar trials.

You are contacting

Investigator Avatar

Primary Contact


Additional screening procedures may be conducted by the study team before you can be confirmed eligible to participate.

Learn more

If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

Learn more

Complete your scheduled study participation activities and then you are done. You may receive summary of study results if provided by the sponsor.

Learn more

Similar trials to consider


Browse trials for

Not finding what you're looking for?

Every year hundreds of thousands of volunteers step forward to participate in research. Sign up as a volunteer and receive email notifications when clinical trials are posted in the medical category of interest to you.

Sign up as volunteer

user name

Added by • 



Reply by • Private

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur, adipisicing elit. Ipsa vel nobis alias. Quae eveniet velit voluptate quo doloribus maxime et dicta in sequi, corporis quod. Ea, dolor eius? Dolore, vel!

  The passcode will expire in None.

No annotations made yet

Add a private note
  • abc Select a piece of text from the left.
  • Add notes visible only to you.
  • Send it to people through a passcode protected link.
Add a private note