Pembrolizumab for Advanced Melanoma: Efficacy and Toxicity

Source: Cancer Therapy Advisor, April 2017

Historically, long-term survival of patients with advanced melanoma was less than 10%.1 Treatment of this disease has, however, advanced quickly over recent years, particularly with the introduction and development of immunotherapeutic agents and inhibitors of BRAF and MEK.

Pembrolizumab, a PD-1 inhibitor, has proven effective in this treatment setting, though there is some controversy whether it should be favored over other immunotherapeutic options like nivolumab and ipilimumab.2

For the phase 2 Keynote-002 study (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01704287), a randomized trial of pembrolizumab vs chemotherapy in ipilimumab-refractory melanoma, patients were randomly assigned to receive pembrolizumab 2 mg/kg once every 3 weeks, pembrolizumab 10 mg/kg once every 3 weeks, or investigator’s choice of chemotherapy.

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