Cervical cancer drug raises survival rate by 30% compared to chemotherapy: ‘Game-changer’

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Better care for cancer patients may be on the horizon.

A new prescription medicine for treating cervical cancer has been showing positive results in clinical trials.

In phase 3 global trials, TIVDAK (tisotumab vedotin) was linked to a 30% overall reduction in the risk of death compared to chemotherapy.

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TIVDAK also demonstrated a 33% decrease in the risk of worsening disease or death.

In addition, the intravenous drug showed an improved objective response rate of 17.8% compared to chemotherapy at 5.2%.

TIVDAK is showing promising results after phase 3 clinical trials. (iStock)

The trial also measured the disease control rate, which is the percentage of patients who experience complete response, partial response or stable disease.

TIVDAK displayed a 75.9% disease control rate, while chemo showed a 58.2% rate.

In an interview with Fox News Digital, Dr. Brian Slomovitz, director of gynecologic oncology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, Florida, emphasized the importance of these findings.

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“To have an overall survival advantage in this disease is extremely, extremely rare,” he said.

“It changes the second-line standard of care for this disease. Now, all patients who recur after first-line therapy should be considered for this therapy,” Slomovitz added. “So it’s a game-changer.”

dr brian slomovitz

Brian Slomovitz, M.D., is director of gynecologic oncology and co-chair of the Cancer Research Committee at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, Florida. He’s been directly involved in the clinical trials and told Fox News Digital, “To have an overall survival advantage in this disease is extremely, extremely rare.” (Mount Sinai Medical Center)

Slomovitz, who has been directly involved in the trials, explained that the new class of drugs attacks a certain protein on the cell, which allows chemotherapy to be delivered to the cell “in a precise fashion.”

He said, “So, it doesn’t give a lot of the peripheral side effects that we see with traditional chemotherapy.”

“In the past, we just did not have active medications and our patients really were left with ineffective therapies, and they just died.”

Dr. Marc Siegel, clinical professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center and a Fox News medical contributor, is not involved in the drug’s development or testing, but he believes the drug shows promise as an effective treatment.

dr marc siegel

Dr. Marc Siegel, clinical professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, believes the drug shows promise as an effective treatment. (Fox News)

“Cervical cancer can be a very aggressive disease, difficult to diagnose early, with a poor prognosis when it is metastatic,” he told Fox News Digital.

“It is generally treated with multiple drugs, including chemo and radiation, which can shrink the tumor but very often does not cure it,” he added. “The new targeted therapy TIVDAK, which includes a monoclonal antibody against the tissue factor associated with the tumor, is an “effective additional and useful therapy with a high response rate.”

“Cervical cancer can be a very aggressive disease, difficult to diagnose early, with a poor prognosis when it is metastatic.”

The doctor, who is also a drug developer, said her patients have done “very well” with the drug and appreciate its effectiveness and accessibility through insurance.

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“That’s unheard of,” she said. “In the past, we just did not have active medications and our patients really were left with ineffective therapies, and they just died.”

Patients are recognizing that TIVDAK has worked to shrink their tumors, Moore said, which then leads to less pain and reduced dosage of medication.

doctor with cervical cancer ribbon

TIVDAK has been used in practice since phase 2 trials led to accelerated approval by the FDA in the U.S. The drug, however, could not earn full FDA approval until phase 3 was complete. (iStock)

“They’re feeling better because their disease is shrinking,” she said.

TIVDAK has been used in practice since phase 2 trials led to accelerated approval by the FDA in the U.S.

The drug, however, could not earn full FDA approval until phase 3 was complete, Slomovitz noted.

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“We’re hoping that the FDA approves this for a confirmatory trial in the setting, which would obviously have a great impact on the care of our patients,” he said.

Slomovitz said he’s optimistic the FDA will give full approval for the drug in the “near future.”

FDA sign

The FDA granted accelerated approval to TIVDAK in 2021. (REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo)

Both doctors shared their hopes for FDA drug clearance globally.

“We’re starting to see, finally, improvements in therapies for patients who have advanced metastatic cervical cancer, all improving overall survival,” Moore said. “So it is looking brighter.”

Cervical cancer is the fourth most deadly cancer in female patients, according to Slomovitz.

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Moore pointed out that the best way to avoid cervical cancer is to prevent it through annual screenings and vaccinations.

“This is an entirely preventable disease,” she said. 

“The correct way to cure is to prevent, so that’s what we should be doing, too.”

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