Advertisement

FDA approves combining Merck's pembrolizumab with chemotherapy in lung cancer patients

Share This Page
FDA has approved expanding the use of pembrolizumab (Keytruda—Merck) to include adding it to chemotherapy to treat lung cancer. On Wednesday, FDA approved combining pembrolizumab with two chemotherapy agents, pemetrexed and carboplatin, for the treatment of patients with an advanced form of lung cancer.

FDA has approved expanding the use of pembrolizumab (Keytruda—Merck) to include adding it to chemotherapy to treat lung cancer. On Wednesday, FDA approved combining pembrolizumab with two chemotherapy agents, pemetrexed and carboplatin, for the treatment of patients with an advanced form of lung cancer. The drug has previously been approved to treat melanoma, head and neck cancer, lymphoma, and lung cancer in patients whose tumors have a high level of a protein called PD-L1. The newly approved use of pembrolizumab with chemotherapy is for certain lung cancer patients regardless of PD-L1 levels. A study funded by Merck found that adding pembrolizumab to chemotherapy significantly reduced tumors in a higher rate of lung-cancer patients compared with those receiving only chemotherapy, and it extended the median time from the start of treatment until death or disease progression to 13 months, compared with nearly 9 months for chemotherapy alone. However, patients in the study who took pembrolizumab did not live significantly longer than those receiving chemotherapy alone. The drug also carries a big price tag, about $13,000 a month per patient. Merck will provide updated overall survival data from the study next month, and it is conducting a separate, larger study that further tests whether pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy can improve overall survival, according to Roy Baynes, head of clinical development in Merck's research unit.

Ad Position: 
Bottom Center Aligned
https://www.wsj.com/articles/fda-approves-combining-mercks-keytruda-with-chemotherapy-in-lung-cancer-patients-1494455864

Advertisement

Related Content

block-views-related-content-block