Testing the Addition of the Immunotherapy Drug Pembrolizumab to the Usual Radiation Treatment for Newly Diagnosed Early Stage High Intermediate Risk Endometrial Cancer

  • End date
    Feb 1, 2024
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Updated on 18 September 2021


This phase III trial compares whether the addition of pembrolizumab to radiation therapy is more effective than radiation therapy alone in reducing the risk of cancer coming back (recurrence) in patients with newly diagnosed stage I-II endometrial cancer. Immunotherapy with monoclonal antibodies, such as pembrolizumab, may help the body's immune system attack the cancer, and may interfere with the ability of tumor cells to grow and spread. Radiation therapy uses high energy x-rays to kill tumor cells and shrink tumors. The addition of pembrolizumab to radiation treatment may be more effective than radiation treatment alone in reducing cancer recurrence.



I. To compare the 3-year recurrence-free survival of women with high intermediate risk (HIR) stage I/II mismatch repair deficient (dMMR) endometrioid endometrial cancer treated with radiation and pembrolizumab (MK-3475) versus radiation alone.


I. To describe the safety and tolerability of concurrent pembrolizumab (MK-3475) and radiation compared to radiation alone in patients with MMR deficient high intermediate risk endometrial cancer (HIR EC).

II. To describe the recurrence patterns in each group. III. To measure recurrence free survival at 5 years in each group. IV. To estimate disease specific overall survival in each group. V. To determine whether the addition of pembrolizumab (MK-3475) to radiation, compared with radiation alone is associated with decreased quality of life at 6- and 24-weeks, as measured with the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy (FACT)-Endometrial (En) Trial Outcome Index (TOI), increased gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms as measured with the GI subscale, and increased fatigue as measured with the Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS)-Fatigue scale (short form).

VI. To validate the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Immune Checkpoint Modulator (FACT-ICM) subscale, which assesses in cancer patients on immunotherapy.


I. To explore the baseline tumor genetic and microenvironment parameters predictive of clinical benefit or resistance to immunotherapy.

II. To determine whether the addition of pembrolizumab (MK-3475) to radiation, compared with radiation alone, is associated with decreased quality of life as measured with the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Immune Checkpoint Modulator (FACT-ICM subscale) and more self-reported bother from side effects as measured with a single item GP5 "I am bothered by side effects," a question from the FACT-En TOI.

OUTLINE: Patients are randomized to 1 of 2 arms.

ARM I: Patients undergo pelvic external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) daily for 5-6 weeks and vaginal brachytherapy completed within 7 days after completion of EBRT in the absence of disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.

ARM II: Patients undergo EBRT and brachytherapy as in Arm I. Within 7 days prior to the start of radiation therapy, patients also receive pembrolizumab intravenously (IV) over 30 minutes on day 1. Treatment with pembrolizumab repeats every 6 weeks for up to 1 year (9 cycles) in the absence of disease progression or unacceptable toxicity.

After completion of study treatment, patients are followed up every 3 months for 2 years and then every 6 months for 3 years.

Condition Endometrial Endometrioid Adenocarcinoma, Stage I Uterine Corpus Cancer AJCC v8, Stage IA Uterine Corpus Cancer AJCC v8, Stage IB Uterine Corpus Cancer AJCC v8, Stage II Uterine Corpus Cancer AJCC v8, endometrioid adenocarcinoma of the endometrium
Treatment questionnaire administration, brachytherapy, quality-of-life assessment, Pembrolizumab, Internal Radiation Therapy, external beam radiation therapy
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT04214067
SponsorNational Cancer Institute (NCI)
Last Modified on18 September 2021


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Patients must have
Stage I endometrioid endometrial cancer and a combination of age and risk factors as listed below
Age >= 70 and 1 or more risk factors
Age 50 - < 70 and 2 or more risk factors
Age < 50 and 3 risk factors
Risk factors
Myometrial invasion >= 50%
Lymphovascular space invasion
Grade 2 or 3 OR
Stage II endometrioid endometrial cancer
Note: Patients with isolated tumor cells in sentinel lymph nodes are eligible (considered N0i) as long as there is no evidence of micro- or macro-metastases in any lymph nodes
Computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) abdomen or pelvis and either chest X-ray or CT chest demonstrating no evidence of disease outside of the uterus. Imaging can be performed pre-operatively or post-operatively. CT with contrast is the preferred modality. PET/CT is NOT to be used for any disease assessment or reassessment unless there is documentation that PET/CT is of diagnostic quality equal to CT with contrast
Patients must have deficient mismatch repair as demonstrated by lack of expression of at least one mismatch repair protein by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and/or evidence of microsatellite instability (MSI) high. The institutional pathology report documenting MMR deficiency must be submitted
Patients must have undergone surgical staging with at least hysterectomy, removal of cervix, bilateral (if both are present) salpingo-oophorectomy, and either sentinel lymph node assessment or complete pelvic +/- aortic lymphadenectomy. Secondary staging is allowed to determine stage. Patients with isolated tumor cells in sentinel lymph nodes are eligible (considered N0i) as long as there is no evidence of micro- or macro-metastases in any lymph nodes
Patients must have received no prior therapy for endometrial cancer, including hormonal therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, immunotherapy or radiation therapy
Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status of 0, 1 or 2
Platelets >= 100,000/mcl (within 14 days prior to registration)
Absolute neutrophil count (ANC) >= 1,500/mcl (within 14 days prior to registration)
Creatinine =< 1.5 x laboratory upper limit of normal (ULN) (within 14 days prior to registration)
Bilirubin =< 1.5 x ULN (within 14 days prior to registration) (patients with known Gilbert's disease who have bilirubin level =< 3 x ULN may be enrolled)
Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) =< 3 x ULN (within 14 days prior to registration)
Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) within normal limits (TSH < ULN allowed in euthyroid patients on thyroid replacement therapy)
Patients must be registered between 1 and 8 weeks after initial (staging) surgery performed for the combined purpose of diagnosis and staging
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing is not required by protocol unless clinically indicated. Known HIV positive patients on effective anti-retroviral therapy with undetectable viral load within 6 months are eligible for this trial
Patients with a prior or concurrent malignancy whose natural history or treatment does not have the potential to interfere with the safety or efficacy assessment of the investigational regimen are eligible for this trial
The patient or a legally authorized representative must provide study-specific informed consent prior to study entry and, for patients treated in the United States (U.S.), authorization permitting release of personal health information

Exclusion Criteria

Patients who are currently participating and receiving cancer-directed study therapy for endometrial cancer or have participated in a study of an investigational agent and received cancer-directed study therapy for endometrial cancer within 4 weeks prior to registration
Patients who have received prior treatment with anti-PD-1, anti-PD-L1, or anti-CTLA-4 therapeutic antibody or other similar agents
Patients who have a history of a severe hypersensitivity reaction to monoclonal antibody or MK-3475 (pembrolizumab) and/or its excipients
Patients with active autoimmune disease or history of autoimmune disease that might recur, which may affect vital organ function or require immune suppressive treatment including systemic corticosteroids. This includes, but is not limited to, patients with a history of immune related neurologic disease, multiple sclerosis, autoimmune (demyelinating) neuropathy, Guillain-Barre syndrome, myasthenia gravis; systemic autoimmune disease such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), connective tissue diseases, scleroderma, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), Crohn's, ulcerative colitis, hepatitis; and patients with a history of toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), Stevens-Johnson syndrome, or phospholipid syndrome because of the risk of recurrence or exacerbation of disease. Patients with vitiligo, endocrine deficiencies including type I diabetes mellitus, thyroiditis managed with replacement hormones including physiologic corticosteroids are eligible. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis and other arthropathies, Sjogren's syndrome and psoriasis controlled with topical medication and patients with positive serology, such as antinuclear antibodies (ANA), anti-thyroid antibodies should be evaluated for the presence of target organ involvement and potential need for systemic treatment but should otherwise be eligible
Patients with a history of (non-infectious) pneumonitis that required steroids, or current pneumonitis
Patients who have a diagnosis of immunodeficiency or are receiving systemic steroid therapy or any other form of immunosuppressive therapy within 7 days prior to
Patients who have received steroids as CT scan contrast premedication may be enrolled
The use of inhaled or topical corticosteroids is allowed
The use of mineralocorticoids (e.g., fludrocortisone) for patients with orthostatic hypotension or adrenocortical insufficiency is allowed
The use of physiologic doses of corticosteroids may be approved after consultation with the study chair (e.g. 10 mg of prednisone used for replacement therapy for adrenal insufficiency)
Patients who are lactating
Known clinically significant liver disease, including active viral, alcoholic, or other hepatitis; and cirrhosis. For patients with evidence of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, the HBV viral load must be undetectable on suppressive therapy, if indicated. Patients with a history of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection must have been treated and cured. For patients with HCV infection who are currently on treatment, they are eligible if they have an undetectable HCV viral load
Uncontrolled intercurrent illness including, but not limited to: ongoing or active infection (except for uncomplicated urinary tract infection), interstitial lung disease or active, non-infectious pneumonitis, symptomatic congestive heart failure, unstable angina pectoris, cardiac arrhythmia, or psychiatric illness/social situations that would limit compliance with study requirements
Patients who have received any of the prohibited medications
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