Immune Checkpoint Inhibition in the Treatment of Gynecologic Cancer

  • Kristen Anderson
  • Ramez N. Eskander
Gynecologic Oncology (A Fader, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Gynecologic Oncology


Purpose of Review

The purpose of this review is to update readers on recent advancements in the use of immune checkpoint inhibitors for the treatment of ovarian, uterine, and cervical cancers.

Recent Findings

Immunotherapy has emerged as a novel therapeutic paradigm in the treatment of gynecologic malignancies. Currently, immune checkpoint inhibitors are approved for use across five solid malignancies, with recent approval of pembrolizumab in patients with MMR-deficient, recurrent, solid tumors in a disease site agnostic fashion. Phase 3 clinical trials are being conducted in the gynecologic cancer arena to determine if checkpoint inhibition will improve oncologic outcomes. Positive signals have been identified in ovarian cancer cohorts, both as single agents and in combination with other agents. It is anticipated that immunotherapy will be effective in MMR-deficient endometrial cancers, and trials are in development to explore these agents in the front line. Furthermore, the HPV-driven biology of cervical cancer suggests that immune checkpoint inhibition may lead to clinical benefit.


Immune checkpoint inhibitors represent a dynamic and exciting opportunity for patients with limited therapeutic options. We eagerly await the results of ongoing phase 3 clinical trials that will inform practice patterns. In addition, emphasizing translational end-points informing patient selection and response is critical.


Immunotherapy Check point inhibition Gynecologic cancer Ovarian cancer Endometrial cancer Cervical cancer 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest as they relate to the content of this manuscript. Ramez N. Eskander declares compensation for speaking on behalf of Genentech, AZ Oncology, and CLOVIS.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Gynecologic Oncology, Department of Reproductive MedicineUniversity of California San Diego Moores Cancer CenterLa JollaUSA

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