Women with advanced or recurrent endometrial cancer respond to gemcitabine and cisplatin when used together, according to a study presented at the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists’ 41st Annual Meeting.

According to the press release announcing the findings, while early-stage endometrial cancer typically responds well to standard therapies, low survival rates for advanced or recurrent disease result from limited and ineffective chemotherapy and hormonal treatment options.

For the study led by Jubilee Brown, MD, associate professor in M.D. Anderson’s Department of Gynecologic Oncology, researchers enrolled patients with stage IV or recurrent endometrial cancer. The women were treated with gemcitabine and then cisplatin twice during each chemotherapy cycle. After every three cycles, patient response was evaluated with physical and pelvic examinations and imaging studies.

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The results revealed that the combination of gemcitabine and cisplatin limited disease progression, with a 50% overall response rate or improvement in disease observed in the study group. In addition, the clinical benefit of the combination drug therapy was 80%, as 16 out of 20 women experienced either an improvement or stabilization of disease.

“These results are encouraging, offering a new direction for our research for women who suffer from advanced disease, said Dr. Brown. “The findings have the potential to offer another option to these patients, but establishing this treatment as a standard of care will require more research.”

Both gemcitabine and cisplatin are approved by the FDA to treat other types of cancers.