Efficacy and Safety of Pembrolizumab in Combination With Bevacizumab and Oral Metronomic Cyclophosphamide in the Treatment of Recurrent Ovarian Cancer: A Phase 2 Nonrandomized Clinical Trial

JAMA Oncol. 2021 Jan 1;7(1):78-85. doi: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2020.5945.


Importance: Treatment options for recurrent ovarian cancer are of limited clinical benefit and adversely affect patient quality of life, representing an unmet need for tolerable effective therapies.

Objective: To assess the efficacy and safety of a combination of pembrolizumab with bevacizumab and oral metronomic cyclophosphamide in patients with recurrent platinum-sensitive, platinum-resistant, or refractory epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer.

Design, setting, and participants: This open-label, single-arm phase 2 cohort study enrolled patients from September 6, 2016, to June 27, 2018, at a single institution in the United States. Eligible patients had recurrent ovarian cancer, measurable disease per immune-related Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumors (irRECIST), and Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 to 1. Data were analyzed from September 6, 2016, to February 20, 2020.

Interventions: Patients received intravenous pembrolizumab, 200 mg, and bevacizumab, 15 mg/kg, every 3 weeks and oral cyclophosphamide, 50 mg, once daily during the treatment cycle until disease progression, unacceptable toxic effects, or withdrawal of consent.

Main outcomes and measures: Primary outcomes were objective response rate (ORR) and progression-free survival (PFS).

Results: Of the 40 women enrolled, 30 (75.0%) had platinum-resistant and 10 (25.0%) had platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer with a mean (SD) age of 62.2 (9.4) years. Three women (7.5%) had complete responses, 16 (40.0%) had partial responses, and 19 (47.5%) had stable disease in response to treatment based on irRECIST criteria, with an ORR of 47.5%, clinical benefit in 38 (95.0%), and durable response in 10 (25.0%). Median PFS was 10.0 (90% CI, 6.5-17.4) months. The most common grade 3 to 4 treatment-related adverse events were hypertension (6 [15.0%]) and lymphopenia (3 [7.5%]). The most frequently reported adverse events included fatigue (18 [45.0%]), diarrhea (13 [32.5%]), and hypertension (11 [27.5%]).

Conclusions and relevance: In this phase 2 nonrandomized clinical trial, the combination of pembrolizumab with bevacizumab and oral cyclophosphamide was well tolerated and demonstrated clinical benefit in 95.0% and durable treatment responses (>12 months) in 25.0% of patients with recurrent ovarian cancer. This combination may represent a future treatment strategy for recurrent ovarian cancer.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02853318.

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02853318