Tag Archive | "pembrolizumab"

Pembrolizumab Is Effective in Unresectable Melanoma, at 4-Year Follow-Up

Source: Cancer Network, June 2018

After 4 years of follow-up, pembrolizumab demonstrated durable antitumor activity and improved outcomes over ipilimumab in advanced melanoma, according to results from the KEYNOTE-006 trial. The results (abstract 9503) were presented at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, held June 1–5 in Chicago.

“The role of pembrolizumab in advanced melanoma is very well established. It has significantly improved the overall survival and the progression-free survival compared with ipilimumab in patients with advanced melanoma,” said Georgina V. Long, MD, PhD, of the University of Sydney in Australia.

The KEYNOTE-006 trial included 834 patients with unresectable stage III or IV melanoma. They were randomized to receive one of two schedules of pembrolizumab (556 patients in total), or to ipilimumab (278 patients). The median age was 62 years in both groups, and approximately 35% of the patients had received one prior therapy before entering the trial. About 80% of the cohort was programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1)–positive.

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Dr. Whitman on the Role of Pembrolizumab in Melanoma

Source: OncLive, March 2018

Eric Whitman, MD, surgeon, Atlantic Health System, discusses the role of pembrolizumab (Keytruda) in the treatment of patients with melanoma.

Being treated with pembrolizumab has provided a longer life for patients with melanoma, says Whitman. Previously, patients with metastatic melanoma would be put on clinical trials, but the outcomes were not successful. However, now with the addition of pembrolizumab, patients seem to be doing quite well, Whitman adds.

There are many toxicities that are intrinsic to treatment with pembrolizumab. Physicians are often used to chemotherapy-related toxicities, such as hair loss or tongue swelling, but toxicities associated with immunotherapy are different, explains Whitman. Since these drugs affect the immune system, the side effects are mostly autoimmune-related.

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