Immunotherapy (Keytruda), When Combined with Chemotherapy, Doubles Survival Time of Patients with Metastatic Lung Cancer

The immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab (Keytruda), when combined with chemotherapy, doubles survival in patients with non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSNSCLC) lacking genetic changes in the EGFR or ALK genes, when compared to chemotherapy alone, according to results of an international phase III clinical trial. Principal investigator Leena Gandhi, MD, PhD, Director of the Thoracic Medical Oncology Program at Perlmutter Cancer Center at New York University (NYU Langone Health and associate professor of medicine in the Division of Medical Oncology at New York University (NYU) School of Medicine, presented these findings April 16, 2018 at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting in Chicago. The data from this study were simultaneously published online on April 16, 2018 in the New England Journal of Medicine. The open-access article is titled “Combination of Pembrolizumab & Chemotherapy Doubles Survival in Patients with Metastatic Lung Cancer.” A total of 616 patients with untreated metastatic NSNSCLC without EGFR or ALK alterations, from 118 international sites, were randomly allocated for the trial—405 patients were treated with both pembrolizumab and platinum therapy plus pemetrexed, and 202 received platinum therapy plus pemetrexed with a saline placebo. Response rates, overall survival, and progression-free survival rates were superior in the pembrolizumab and chemotherapy combination treatment group. In the press release provided here and below, see a video of Dr.
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