Holy Name Medical Center Press Release

Holy Name Medical Center Press Releases


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Holy Name Medical Center Is First Site In U.S. To Offer Advanced Keytruda® Immunotherapy Combination in Merck Trial for Endometrial Cancer
Holy Name's Gynecologic Cancer Treatments Rival Those of Academic Medical Centers

Holy Name Medical Center continues its research on gynecologic cancer-fighting therapies by becoming the first site in the U.S. where a Merck clinical trial has opened to investigate a combination of the anti-PD-1 immunotherapy medication Keytruda® (pembrolizumab) and Lenvima® (lenvatinib) to treat eligible patients with endometrial cancer.

“We are thrilled to provide our patients with access to cutting-edge research, including this investigational combination that works with patients’ immune systems to find and attack cancer cells,” says Sharyn Lewin, M.D., director of gynecologic oncology at Holy Name’s Patricia Lynch Cancer Center.

Keytruda® is a checkpoint inhibitor therapy, a type of treatment that reactivates the immune system against cancer cell growth and spread. Keytruda® blocks that the ability of cancer cells to hide from the immune system’s T-cells, the body’s natural defense against invading infections and diseases. Without their ability to hide, cancer cells can be attacked by T-cells. Keytruda® has already been used successfully to extend the lives of patients with melanoma, lung cancer, and several other types of cancer.

Holy Name is collaborating with Merck in three separate Keytruda® clinical trials to investigate the safety and effectiveness of the therapy to treat advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer and metastatic cervical cancer. Dr. Lewin is principal investigator, and her partner, gynecologic oncologist Maria Schiavone, M.D., is sub-investigator of the three studies.

Dr. Lewin has been engaged with assessing new therapies for gynecologic cancers within clinical trials for 10 years. Many of them are not commercially available, therefore, clinical trials are the only way patients can receive these treatments alone or in combination with other medications.

"These progressive collaborations with Merck are part of an expanding roster of clinical studies offered at Holy Name’s Institute for Clinical Research,” notes Ravit Barkama, M.D., M.P.H., associate vice president of clinical development. “We focus on collaborating with various pharmaceutical and medical device companies in the U.S. and around the world to bring cutting-edge, safe treatments and technology to our patients. Holy Name’s treatment options match and even surpass those offered at academic medical centers.”

To learn more about Holy Name’s Keytruda® studies, call the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at 201-227-6200. To learn more about all Holy Name clinical trials, visit holyname.org/clinical.

The physicians and staff in the Patricia Lynch Cancer Center at Holy Name have one mission: to treat patients with cancer using the most advanced and innovative treatments administered within a personalized, compassionate environment. Each highly trained oncologist develops a comprehensive approach to the diagnosis and treatment of every cancer by creating a personalized strategy for each patient's unique medical, physical, and social needs. This approach provides a great advantage to patients, and is why This Place is Different.