Cervical cancer develops in a woman’s cervix (the lower part of the womb, also called the neck of the womb). It mainly affects sexually active women aged between 30 and 45 years. Most cases of cervical cancer are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). Cervical cancer often has no symptoms in its early stages. Cervical cancer that has spread to another part of the body is called advanced or metastatic cancer. The cancer that returns after months or years of the completion of the initial treatment is called recurrent cancer. The most common symptom of cervical cancer include bleeding from the vagina at times other than the usual periods. Symptoms of advanced cancer depend on where the cancer has spread to. Cervical cancer was the 14th most common cancer among females in the UK.
Axalimogene filolisbac is a type of cancer vaccine being developed as immunotherapy that attacks HPV-associated cancers such as cervical cancers. It works by alerting the body’s immune system to the presence of cancer, stimulating the body’s natural defenses to attack the cancer. Axalimogene filolisbac is given intravenously and is being developed for the treatment of persistent, recurrent, or metastatic, squamous or non-squamous cell cervical cancer in patients who progress beyond first-line therapy. If licensed, Axalimogene filolisbac will offer a new treatment option for this patient group.
Nivolumab is a type of immunotherapy that is currently licensed in the UK for the treatment of several types of advanced cancers such as melanoma, non‐small cell lung cancer, and kidney cancer. It blocks a protein called programmed death-1 (PD-1), which is found on the surface of a type of immune cells called T-cells. Blocking PD-1 stimulates the T-cells to kill the cancer cells. Temozolomide in combination with radiotherapy is currently licensed in the UK for newly diagnosed glioblastoma in adults. The addition of nivolumab to temozolomide and radiotherapy will potentially offer an additional first line treatment option for adult patients who are newly diagnosed MGMT-methylated glioblastoma.