Jemperli is a brand-name injection prescribed for certain types of cancer, including endometrial cancer. Jemperli contains the active drug dostarlimab-gxly and belongs to the immune checkpoint inhibitor drug class.
Jemperli is FDA-approved for use in adults to treat certain forms of:
- endometrial cancer
- solid tumors, such as breast, colorectal, or stomach cancer that have gotten worse during or after treatment
Jemperli is prescribed for certain forms of cancers that have genetic mutations. It’s used when the cancer is advanced (has spread from its original site) or recurrent (has come back after past treatment). Depending on the situation, Jemperli may be used in combination with certain chemotherapy treatments or on its own.
For more information about how Jemperli is used, see the “Jemperli uses” section below.
You’ll find key information about Jemperli below.
- Drug class: programmed death receptor-1 (PD-1) inhibitor (a type of immune checkpoint inhibitor)
- Drug forms: solution for injection
- Generic available? no
- Prescription required? yes
- Controlled substance? no
- Year of FDA approval: 2021
- Accelerated approval?
Biologic drugs are made using living cells, whereas most other drugs are made using chemicals. It’s possible to make exact copies of brand-name drugs made from chemicals. These are called generics. Generics usually cost less than brand-name drugs.
Due to the way biologic drugs are made, it’s not possible to make exact copies of brand-name biologics. Instead, biosimilars can sometimes be made. These are considered as safe and effective as the original brand-name biologic. Like generics, they usually cost less than the brand-name drug.
As with all medications, the cost of Jemperli can vary. The actual price you’ll pay depends on your insurance plan, your location, and the pharmacy you use.
Drug coupons. You can visit Optum Perks* for price estimates of Jemperli. These estimates are based on the use of Optum Perks coupons. Note: Optum Perks coupons cannot be used with insurance copays or benefits.
Financial and insurance assistance. If you need financial support to pay for Jemperli, or if you need help understanding your insurance coverage, help is available.
To learn more about saving money on prescriptions, check out this article.
Biosimilar version. Jemperli is a biologic that’s not available in a biosimilar form. A biologic is a drug made using living cells. A biosimilar is similar to the active drug in a brand-name biologic medication. Biosimilars tend to cost less than brand-name drugs.
* Optum Perks is a sister site of Medical News Today.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as Jemperli to treat certain conditions.
Jemperli for endometrial cancer
Jemperli is FDA-approved to treat certain forms of endometrial cancer in adults. It’s used for endometrial cancer that’s:
- advanced (has spread to other places outside the uterus) or recurrent (has come back after past treatment), and
- has certain genetic changes called mismatch repair deficient (dMMR) or microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) mutations*
Depending on the situation, Jemperli may be used on its own or in combination with certain chemotherapy treatments.
Specifically, Jemperli is used:
- with carboplatin and paclitaxel, and then on its own, for cancer with dMMR or MSI-H mutations
- on its own for cancer with dMMR mutations that has:
- gotten worse during or after treatment with platinum-based chemotherapy, and
- can’t be treated with surgery or radiation therapy
To learn more about cancer and its treatment, you can refer to our cancer hub.
* dMMR and MSI-H are genetic mutations (abnormal changes in a gene) that can cause certain types of cancer. They stop genetic material from correcting its own mistakes. These mistakes can happen when genes are copied to make new cells or proteins. Your doctor will order tests to check for these mutations before prescribing Jemperli.
Jemperli for mismatch repair deficient recurrent or advanced solid tumors
Jemperli is FDA-approved to treat certain forms of solid tumors in adults. Examples of solid tumors include breast, colorectal, stomach, pancreatic, and liver cancer. Specifically, Jemperli is approved to treat solid tumors that:
- are advanced (have spread from their original site) or recurrent (have come back after past treatment), and
- have certain genetic changes called mismatch repair deficient (dMMR) mutations*, and
- have gotten worse during or after past treatment
- have no other suitable treatment options
Jemperli is a type of immunotherapy (a treatment that helps your immune system attack cancer cells). It’s used on its own to treat these types of solid tumors.
Note: The FDA granted Jemperli accelerated approval for this use based on early clinical trials of the drug. The FDA will determine whether to fully approve Jemperli for this use after more clinical trials.
To learn more about cancer and its treatment, you can refer to our cancer hub.
*dMMR is a genetic mutation (abnormal changes in a gene) that can cause certain types of cancer. It stops genetic material from correcting its own mistakes. These mistakes can happen when genes are copied to make new cells or proteins. Your doctor will order tests to check for this mutation before prescribing Jemperli.
Jemperli and children
The FDA has not approved Jemperli for use in children. It’s not known if the drug is safe or effective for treating cancer in children under age 18 years.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Jemperli.
Can Jemperli be used for colorectal cancer or breast cancer?
Jemperli may be prescribed for these cancers if:
- they’re advanced (have spread from their original site) or recurrent (have come back after past treatment)
- they have certain genetic mutations (abnormal changes in a gene)
- they have gotten worse during or after past treatment
- no other treatment options are suitable
If you have colorectal or breast cancer, talk with your doctor about whether Jemperli treatment is a suitable option for you.
Is Jemperli similar to Keytruda?
Yes, Jemperli is similar to Keytruda. Both medications belong to a class of drugs called programmed death receptor-1 (PD-1) inhibitors. They’re a type of immunotherapy (a treatment that helps your immune system attack cancer cells).
Both drugs are given by intravenous infusion (an injection into a vein given over a period of time). They can cause similar side effects. These include serious problems caused by your immune system attacking healthy cells in your body.
To find out more about how Jemperli and Keytruda compare, talk with your doctor.
How does Jemperli work?
Jemperli is a type of drug called an immune checkpoint inhibitor. It treats certain forms of cancer by helping your immune system find and kill cancer cells.
Your immune system is your body’s defense system. It usually finds and kills abnormal cells in your body. However, some cancer cells can develop changes that hide and protect them from your immune system.
For example, some cancer cells make a protein that’s usually carried by healthy cells, called PD-L1. PD-L1 is known as an immune checkpoint. It protects healthy cells from being attacked by your immune system. Cancer cells that carry lots of PD-L1 are also protected from your immune system.
PD-L1 protects cells by switching off certain immune system cells, called T cells. It does this by attaching to PD-1 receptors (special docking sites) on the T cells.
Jemperli belongs to a class of drugs called PD-1 inhibitors. It blocks the PD-1 receptors on your T cells. This stops cancer cells with lots of PD-L1 proteins from switching off your T cells. This helps your immune system to find and kill the cancer cells. It may shrink the cancer or stop it from getting worse.
If you have questions about how Jemperli works, talk with your doctor.
The following information describes dosages that are commonly used or recommended. However, your doctor will determine the best dosage to fit your needs.
Drug forms and strengths
Jemperli comes as a solution for injection in a single-dose vial. Each vial contains 500 milligrams (mg) Jemperli in 10 milliliters (mL) of solution.
A healthcare professional will administer Jemperli by intravenous (IV) infusion. An IV infusion is an injection into a vein that’s given over a period of time. Jemperli infusions are typically given over 30 minutes. You’ll usually receive Jemperli in a hospital or infusion center.
Dosage for endometrial cancer
Depending on the situation, Jemperli may be used in combination with certain chemotherapy treatments or on its own.
When used with carboplatin and paclitaxel. The usual dosage of Jemperli is 500 mg every 3 weeks for six doses, along with carboplatin and paclitaxel. This is followed by 1,000 mg of Jemperli alone every 6 weeks.
When used alone. The usual dosage of Jemperli is 500 mg every 3 weeks for four doses, followed by 1,000 mg every 6 weeks.
Dosage for mismatch repair deficient recurrent or advanced solid tumors
The usual dosage of Jemperli is 500 mg every 3 weeks for four doses, followed by 1,000 mg every 6 weeks.
About taking Jemperli
Below, you’ll find information about key dosage issues.
- If you miss a dose. If you miss an appointment for your Jemperli infusion, call your doctor’s office right away to reschedule.
- Length of use. Jemperli is meant to be a long-term treatment. If you and your doctor determine that Jemperli is safe and effective for you, you’ll likely take it long term.
Jemperli can cause mild or serious side effects. The following lists contain some of the key side effects that may occur while taking Jemperli. These lists do not include all possible side effects.
For more information about the possible side effects of Jemperli, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. They can give you tips on how to manage any side effects that may be concerning or bothersome.
Note: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tracks side effects of drugs it has approved. If you’d like to notify the FDA about a side effect you’ve had with Jemperli, you can do so through MedWatch.
Mild side effects
Below is a partial list of mild side effects of Jemperli. To learn about other mild side effects, talk with your doctor or pharmacist, or view Jemperli’s prescribing information.
Mild side effects of Jemperli can include:
- asthenia (weakness)
- skin rash or itching
- nausea or vomiting
- high blood pressure
- hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid gland)
- anemia (low red blood cell count)
- mild allergic reaction*
Most of these side effects may go away within a few days to a couple of weeks. However, if they become more severe or don’t go away, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
* For more information about allergic reaction and Jemperli, see “Allergic reaction” below.
Serious side effects
Serious side effects from Jemperli aren’t common, but they can occur. Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.
Jemperli helps your immune system (your body’s defense system) attack cancer cells. However, if your immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells, this can cause serious side effects. These side effects can affect any part of your body and may be life threatening or even fatal. Examples of these side effects and their symptoms can include:
- Hepatitis (liver inflammation). Symptoms can include:
- pain in the right-hand side of your abdomen
- nausea and vomiting
- dark-colored urine
- bruising or bleeding easily
- Colitis (bowel inflammation). Symptoms can include:
- severe abdominal pain
- stools that are tar-like or contain blood or mucus
- Pneumonitis (lung inflammation). Symptoms can include:
- shortness of breath
- chest pain
- Hormone problems, such as thyroid, adrenal, or pituitary gland conditions. Symptoms can include:
- diarrhea or constipation
- weight gain or loss
- feeling cold or hot
- extreme fatigue
- hair loss
- dizziness or fainting
- increased heartbeat
- increased sweating
- Type 1 diabetes. Symptoms can include:
- urinating more than usual
- blurry vision
- increased thirst or hunger
- feeling generally unwell
- Kidney problems. Symptoms can include:
- urinating less than usual
- dark-colored urine
- swollen ankles or feet
- loss of appetite
- Severe skin reactions. Symptoms can include:
- severe or widespread rash or itching
- skin blistering or peeling
- swollen lymph nodes
- Infusion reactions. Symptoms can include:
- fever or chills
- dizziness or lightheadedness
- shortness of breath
- Severe allergic reaction.*
* For details about allergic reaction and Jemperli, see “Allergic reaction” below.
Symptoms of a mild allergic reaction can include:
A more severe allergic reaction is rare but possible. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction can include:
- swelling under your skin, typically in your eyelids, lips, hands, or feet
- swelling of your tongue, mouth, or throat
- trouble breathing
Call your doctor right away if you have an allergic reaction to Jemperli, as the reaction could become severe. Call 911 or your local emergency number if your symptoms feel life threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency.
However, this doesn’t mean that interactions won’t be recognized in the future. For example, new drugs could be approved that interact with Jemperli.
Before starting Jemperli treatment, talk with your doctor and pharmacist. Tell them about all prescription, over-the-counter, and other drugs you take. Also, tell them about any vitamins, herbs, and supplements you take. Sharing this information can help you avoid potential interactions.
If you have questions about drug interactions that may affect you, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Other drugs are available that can treat your condition. Some may be a better fit for you than others. If you’re interested in finding an alternative to Jemperli, talk with your doctor. They can tell you about other medications that may work well for you.
The following drugs are similar to Jemperli:
If you can become pregnant, consider the following information about pregnancy, birth control, and breastfeeding.
Jemperli and pregnancy
Jemperli should not be used during pregnancy. If you’re planning a pregnancy or can become pregnant, talk with your doctor before taking this medication. Your doctor may suggest birth control options to use during treatment with Jemperli.
Jemperli and birth control
Jemperli is not safe to use during pregnancy. If you’re sexually active and you or your partner can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about your birth control needs while you’re using Jemperli.
Note: Sex and gender exist on spectrums. Use of the term “female” and “male” in this article refers to sex assigned at birth.
For females using Jemperli
If you can become pregnant, you should use birth control during Jemperli treatment and for 4 months after your last dose.
For males using Jemperli
Jemperli’s manufacturer doesn’t give birth control advice for males using Jemperli. If you have a sexual partner who can become pregnant, talk with your doctor about whether you should use birth control during Jemperli treatment.
Jemperli and breastfeeding
You should not breastfeed while taking Jemperli and for 4 months after your last dose. If you’re currently breastfeeding or planning to do so, talk with your doctor about other ways to feed your child during treatment with Jemperli.
This drug comes with several precautions.
Before taking Jemperli, discuss your health history with your doctor. Jemperli may not be right for you if you have certain medical conditions or other factors affecting your health. Be sure to talk with your doctor if any of the following apply to you:
- past organ transplant
- past or planned allogeneic stem cell transplant (bone marrow transplant using stem cells from a donor)
- previous allergic reaction to this or a similar drug
Note: For more information about the potential negative effects of Jemperli, see the “Jemperli side effects” section above.
Disclaimer: Medical News Today has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.