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Pembrolizumab in Anaplastic/Undifferentiated Thyroid Cancer

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT02688608
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : February 23, 2016
Results First Posted : February 10, 2022
Last Update Posted : February 10, 2022
Merck Sharp & Dohme LLC
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Saad A Khan, Stanford University

Brief Summary:
This study is being done because there are currently no approved and no commonly working targeted therapies in anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC). This is an area of urgent need for patients, not just for approved treatments but also rationally-designed clinical trials designed specifically for ATC. Patients diagnosed with anaplastic thyroid cancer have a very high likelihood of dying because of their disease. As such there is a clear need for improving therapy for ATC.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer Drug: Pembrolizumab Phase 2

Detailed Description:

The goal of this multi-center, open-label trial is to measure the impact of treating metastatic anaplastic thyroid cancer patients with immune checkpoint therapy. This trial will potentially lead to the development of new therapy for anaplastic thyroid cancer. The drug to be administered, pembrolizumab is FDA approved with known side effects and is active in many tumor types.

Programmed death 1 or (PD-1) PD-1/PD-L1 expression will be measured and reported for patients undergoing therapy with pembrolizumab. This will help determine if there PD-1 or PD-L1 are predictive biomarkers for anti-PD-1 therapy. It will also add to the data regarding their frequency in aggressive thyroid cancer. Where available, genomic profiling data will be analyzed to determine if there is a correlation between response and mutational status.

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 6 participants
Allocation: N/A
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Phase II Trial of Pembrolizumab in Metastatic or Locally Advanced Anaplastic/ Undifferentiated Thyroid Cancer
Study Start Date : October 2016
Actual Primary Completion Date : October 2020
Actual Study Completion Date : October 2021

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Pembrolizumab
200 milligrams of Pembrolizumab will be given intravenously every 3 weeks.
Drug: Pembrolizumab
200 mg IV once every 3 weeks
Other Name: Keytruda-Merck

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Overall Response (OR) [ Time Frame: up to 18 months. ]

    Overall response (OR) represents those participants that collectively achieve either complete response (CR) or partial response (PR) within 18 months, as defined below per the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) v1.1.

    • Complete Response (CR) = Disappearance of all target lesions
    • Partial Response (PR) = ≥ 30% decrease in the sum of the longest diameter of target lesions
    • Overall Response (OR) = CR + PR
    • Progressive disease (PD) = 20% increase in the sum of the longest diameter of target lesions, and/or the appearance of one or more new lesion(s)
    • Stable disease (SD) = Small changes that do not meet any of the above criteria The outcome is reported as the cumulative number of participants receiving at least one dose of study treatment, that achieve either a CR or PR with 6 months, a number without dispersion.

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Progression-free Survival (PFS) [ Time Frame: 2 years ]
    Progression-free survival (PFS) means to remain alive without disease progression. Progressive disease is defined as a 20% increase in the sum of the longest diameter of target lesions, and/or the appearance of one or more new lesion(s). The outcome is reported as the number of participants who received at least one dose of study treatment and remained alive without progression at 2 years after the beginning of treatment, a number without dispersion.

  2. Adverse Events Associated With Pembrolizumab [ Time Frame: 2 years ]
    Safety of the study treatment pembrolizumab is based on the number of adverse effects caused by pembrolizumab, referred to as related adverse events or toxicities. Reported adverse events (related) will be serious as defined by the Code of Federal Regulations at 21CFR§312.32, or non-serious. The outcome is reported as the number of non-serious and serious adverse events that occurred with the nominal study period (35 cycles or 2 years) that were reported as possibly, probably, or definitely related to pembrolizumab, a number without dispersion.

  3. Overall Survival (OS) [ Time Frame: 2 years ]

    Overall survival (OS) means to remain alive without consideration of treatment response status.

    The outcome is reported as the number of participants who received at least one dose of study treatment and were known to remain alive at 2 years after the beginning of treatment, a number without dispersion. Subjects who become lost-to-follow-up before the 2-year assessment are not included.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  1. Be willing and able to provide written informed consent for the trial.
  2. Histologically or cytologically confirmed diagnosis of anaplastic thyroid cancer or undifferentiated thyroid cancer. A diagnosis of possible ATC/UTC will be allowed if the clinical presentation is consistent with anaplastic or undifferentiated thyroid cancer.
  3. Be ≥ 18 years of age on day of signing informed consent.
  4. Have measurable disease based on RECIST 1.1.
  5. Be willing to provide tissue from a newly obtained core or excisional biopsy of a tumor lesion. Newly-obtained is defined as a specimen obtained up to 6 weeks (42 days) prior to initiation of treatment on Day 1. Subjects for whom newly-obtained samples cannot be provided (e.g. inaccessible or subject safety concern) may submit an archived sample.
  6. Have a performance status of 0-1 on the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) Performance Scale.
  7. Demonstrate adequate organ function as defined in the protocol. ,
  8. Female subject of childbearing potential should have a negative urine or serum pregnancy within 72 hours prior to receiving the first dose of study medication. If the urine test is positive or cannot be confirmed as negative, a serum pregnancy test will be required.
  9. Female subjects of childbearing potential should be willing to use 2 methods of birth control or be surgically sterile, or abstain from heterosexual activity for the course of the study through 120 days after the last dose of study medication (Reference Section 5.7.2). Subjects of childbearing potential are those who have not been surgically sterilized or have not been free from menses for > 1 year.
  10. Male subjects should agree to use an adequate method of contraception starting with the first dose of study therapy through 120 days after the last dose of study therapy.

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. Is currently participating and receiving study therapy or has participated in a study of an investigational agent and received study therapy or used an investigational device within 4 weeks of the first dose of treatment.
  2. Has a diagnosis of immunodeficiency or is receiving systemic steroid therapy or any other form of immunosuppressive therapy within 7 days prior to the first dose of trial treatment.
  3. Has a known history of active TB (Bacillus Tuberculosis).
  4. Hypersensitivity to pembrolizumab or any of its excipients.
  5. Has had a prior anti-cancer monoclonal antibody (mAb) within 4 weeks prior to study Day 1 or who has not recovered (i.e., ≤ Grade 1 or at baseline) from adverse events due to agents administered more than 4 weeks earlier.
  6. Has had prior chemotherapy, targeted small molecule therapy, or radiation therapy within 2 weeks prior to study Day 1 or who has not recovered (i.e., ≤ Grade 1 or at baseline) from adverse events due to a previously administered agent.

    • Note: Subjects with ≤ Grade 2 neuropathy are an exception to this criterion and may qualify for the study.
    • Note: If subject received major surgery, they must have recovered adequately from the toxicity and/or complications from the intervention prior to starting therapy.
  7. Has a known additional malignancy that is progressing or requires active treatment. Exceptions include basal cell carcinoma of the skin or squamous cell carcinoma of the skin that has undergone potentially curative therapy or in situ cervical cancer.
  8. Has known active central nervous system (CNS) metastases and/or carcinomatous meningitis. Subjects with previously treated brain metastases may participate provided they are stable (without evidence of progression by imaging for at least four weeks prior to the first dose of trial treatment and any neurologic symptoms have returned to baseline), have no evidence of new or enlarging brain metastases, and are not using steroids for at least 7 days prior to trial treatment. This exception does not include carcinomatous meningitis which is excluded regardless of clinical stability.
  9. Has active autoimmune disease that has required systemic treatment in the past 2 years (i.e. with use of disease modifying agents, corticosteroids or immunosuppressive drugs). Replacement therapy (e.g., thyroxine, insulin, or physiologic corticosteroid replacement therapy for adrenal or pituitary insufficiency, etc.) is not considered a form of systemic treatment.
  10. Has known history of, or any evidence of active, non-infectious pneumonitis.
  11. Has an active infection requiring systemic therapy.
  12. Has a history or current evidence of any condition, therapy, or laboratory abnormality that might confound the results of the trial, interfere with the subject's participation for the full duration of the trial, or is not in the best interest of the subject to participate, in the opinion of the treating investigator.
  13. Has known psychiatric or substance abuse disorders that would interfere with cooperation with the requirements of the trial.
  14. Is pregnant or breastfeeding, or expecting to conceive or father children within the projected duration of the trial, starting with the pre-screening or screening visit through 120 days after the last dose of trial treatment.
  15. Has received prior therapy with an anti-PD-1, anti-PD-L1, or anti-PD-L2 agent.
  16. Has a known history of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) (HIV 1/2 antibodies).
  17. Has known active Hepatitis B (e.g., HBsAg reactive) or Hepatitis C (e.g., HCV RNA [qualitative] is detected).
  18. Has received a live vaccine within 30 days of planned start of study therapy. Note: Seasonal influenza vaccines for injection are generally inactivated flu vaccines and are allowed; however intranasal influenza vaccines (e.g., Flu-Mist®) are live attenuated vaccines, and are not allowed.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT02688608

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United States, Texas
UT Southwestern Medical Center
Dallas, Texas, United States, 75390
Sponsors and Collaborators
Saad A Khan
Merck Sharp & Dohme LLC
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Principal Investigator: Saad Khan, MD UT Southwestern Medical Center
  Study Documents (Full-Text)

Documents provided by Saad A Khan, Stanford University:
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Responsible Party: Saad A Khan, Assistant Professor of Medicine (Oncology), Stanford University Identifier: NCT02688608    
Other Study ID Numbers: STU 012016-019
STU 012016-019 ( Other Identifier: University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center )
First Posted: February 23, 2016    Key Record Dates
Results First Posted: February 10, 2022
Last Update Posted: February 10, 2022
Last Verified: February 2022
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: No
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Thyroid Neoplasms
Thyroid Carcinoma, Anaplastic
Thyroid Diseases
Endocrine System Diseases
Endocrine Gland Neoplasms
Neoplasms by Site
Head and Neck Neoplasms
Neoplasms, Glandular and Epithelial
Neoplasms by Histologic Type
Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological
Antineoplastic Agents
Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action