Staying Up to Date on Endometrial Cancer With Ritu Salani, MD

Cancer of the uterine corpus, also called endometrial cancer, is the most common cancer of the female genital tract, with the American Cancer Society estimating that there will be 65,950 new diagnoses and 12,550 fatal cases in the United States in 2022. In this interview, Ritu Salani, MD, Director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Health, touches base on a recent activity she led, Emerging Checkpoint Inhibitor-Based Strategies for Advanced Endometrial Cancer. In addition, she discusses updates since recording the activity and why it’s important for health care professionals to participate in staying up to date with the evolving landscape of endometrial cancer treatment options.  

Oncology Data Advisor: Why is it important that the health care team participate in this activity?

Ritu Salani, MD: In a rapidly evolving landscape, it is critical to stay up to date on the new treatment options and potential side effects for best practice. This activity provides a high-level overview of the current and emerging treatments in endometrial cancer.

Oncology Data Advisor: How does molecular profiling for endometrial cancer help guide treatment?

Dr. Salani: The use of molecular profiling for endometrial cancer is helping to assess risk and guide treatment. Patients with POLE mutations may have de-escalation of therapy; patients with mismatch repair (MMR) may have the best benefit from immunotherapy; and those with P53 mutation are likely to have a higher-risk profile and benefit from systemic therapy. Tailoring therapy based on these molecular classification systems is anticipated to improve oncologic outcomes while minimizing toxicities.

Oncology Data Advisor: Have there been updates in any of the ongoing trials mentioned in the activity worth discussing?

Dr. Salani: The most recent change in the treatment has been the use of lenvatinib and pembrolizumab for MMR-proficient tumors in the second-line setting. Understanding ways to minimize toxicities will help patients stay on this regimen, which has also been shown to have improved quality of life over chemotherapy as well.

Oncology Data Advisor: Have there been any changes in checkpoint inhibitors being incorporated in the frontline setting of treatment?

Dr. Salani: Ongoing studies of chemotherapy with checkpoint inhibitor therapy, as well as immunotherapy versus chemotherapy, are ongoing in the advanced setting. In early stage, the role of immunotherapy with radiation in patients with MMR-deficient tumors is ongoing. These exciting trials may continue to reshape treatment.

Oncology Data Advisor: Since recording, have you learned anything new that you would like to add that you feel health care professionals should know?

Dr. Salani: The importance of molecular profiling is going to continue to impact care. Studies of potential maintenance therapy options in P53 wild type and identifying other novel therapies—including hormonal regimens—are going to continue to improve outcomes.

About Dr. Salani

Ritu Salani, MD, is the Director of the Division of Gynecologic Oncology and a Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Oncology at UCLA Health. Dr. Salani is a nationally recognized and distinguished board-certified gynecologic oncologist with over 15 years in her practice. Her expertise and interest revolve around gynecologic malignancies, specifically in ovarian, cervical, uterine/endometrial, and vulvar cancers. Dr. Salani takes great pride in providing passionate care with up-to-date state-of-the-art medicine and practice.

Transcript edited for clarity. Any views expressed above are the speaker’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Oncology Data Advisor. 

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