EMA has recommended that the use of Yondelis (trabectedin) in treating ovarian cancer remain unchanged following a review of a study that investigated Yondelis as a third-line treatment in patients with ovarian cancer. However, the study results will be included in the medicine’s product information to provide healthcare professionals with the most up-to-date information on the effects of Yondelis in patients with ovarian cancer.

An analysis of study OVC-3006 investigating the use of Yondelis plus pegylated liposomal doxorubicin (PLD, another cancer medicine) in patients with ovarian cancer was carried out while the study was still ongoing and showed that, overall, patients treated with Yondelis plus PLD did not live longer than patients given PLD alone. As a result, the study was terminated ahead of time.

EMA’s human medicines committee (CHMP) has now assessed the data and concluded that the results available are not robust enough to draw firm conclusions. Available evidence from the study does not put into question the benefits and risks of Yondelis in its currently authorised uses. Further, there are key differences between OVC-3006 and the study that supported the authorisation of Yondelis (OVA-301). The main difference is that patients in study OVC-3006 had a more advanced disease and had been more heavily treated than those included in OVA-301. In addition, a significant proportion of patients in study OVC-3006 had ovarian cancer that was resistant to medicines containing platinum, while Yondelis is currently authorised for platinum-sensitive ovarian cancer.

When considering Yondelis’ safety, the CHMP noted that in the OVC-3006 study patients treated with Yondelis and PLD had more side effects and more severe ones than those treated with PLD only; however, the committee considered that a higher occurrence of side effects is not unexpected with combination treatments compared to treatments used alone.

The CHMP recommended that the results of the study be included in the summary of product characteristics of Yondelis so that healthcare professionals have the most up-to-date information when prescribing the medicine.

Posted on the EMA website on 24 July 2020