Pembrolizumab Shows Promise in Bladder Cancer

the Renal and Urology News take:

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) shows promising results for the treatment of PD-L1 positive bladder cancer, according to a new analysis presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology 2014 Congress. Researchers tested Keytruda, an anti-PD-1 therapy, in 29 bladder cancer patients.

During this time, response durations spanned 16 to 40 weeks, with six out of seven responding patients continuing on therapy. Results indicated a 24% overall response rate using Keytruda as a monotherapy, including a complete response rate of 10%. In the continuing study, 64% of patients who were screened had tumors that were positive for PD-L1 expression.

The suggested use of Keytruda is a dose of 2mg/kg every 3 weeks to help treat patients with unrespectable or metastatic melanoma and disease progression after ipillimumab, and if BRAF V600 mutation positive, a BRAF inhibitor. Dr. Alise Reicin, the vice president of oncology at Merck Research Laboratories, said in a statement, “Although at this stage the data set is small, we are encouraged by the response rate, complete response rate, and the durability of the response in patients suffering from advanced bladder cancer.”

She also said that Merck will initiate a Phase 3 study to further their understanding of Keytruda's potential to treat advanced bladder cancer.

Merck drug shows promise in bladder cancer
Promising results for the treatment of PD-L1 positive bladder cancer.

Merck announced the initial presentation of data on the investigational use of KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab), Merck's anti-PD-1 therapy, in PD-L1 positive, advanced urothelial cancer, otherwise known as bladder cancer. Results from the early findings indicated a confirmed overall 24 percent response rate using KEYTRUDA as monotherapy as measured by RECIST v1.1, central review (n= 7/29: 95% CI, 10.3-43.5) including a complete response rate of 10 percent (3/29).

During the analysis, response durations spanned from 16+ to 40+ weeks with six out of the seven responders continuing on therapy. In the continuing study, 64 percent (61/95) of patients who were screened had tumors that were positive for PD-L1 expression.

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