Keytruda Provides Disease Control in Patients with Metastatic Castration-resistant Prostate Cancer, Trial Shows

Keytruda Provides Disease Control in Patients with Metastatic Castration-resistant Prostate Cancer, Trial Shows
Treatment with Keytruda (pembrolizumab) provides anti-tumor activity and disease control in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC), Merck’s large-scale Phase 2 study shows. The company presented the study, “KEYNOTE-199: Pembrolizumab (pembro) for docetaxel-refractory metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC),” at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, on Monday as part of the Genitourinary (Prostate) Cancer session. The meeting was held in Chicago June 1-5. Keytruda is an anti-PD1 medication that boosts the immune system’s ability to detect and fight tumor cells. The therapy is currently indicated for the treatment of diverse cancer types, including melanoma, lung cancer, head and neck cancer, urothelial cancer, and classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Although Keytruda showed preliminary anti-tumor activity in 23 mCRPC patients in the KEYNOTE-028 study (NCT02054806), its effectiveness has not been demonstrated in large-scale trials of mCRPC. The scientists assessed treatment with Keytruda in 258 mCRPC patients refractory to the chemotherapy medication Taxotere (docetaxel) in the Phase 2 KEYNOTE-199 trial (NCT02787005). Patients were divided in three groups, according to whether or not their tumor expressed PD-L1, the protein to which PD-1 on immune cells binds to (groups 1 and 2, with 131 and 67 patients, respectively). Group 3 patients (60 subjects) had bone-predominant disease. All patients were graded 0-2 in the ECOG Performance Status, which means they were capable of self-care but not able to work, at minimum. They had received one or more endocrine therapies and one to two previous chemotherapies including Taxotere. Patients received 200 mg Keytruda every three weeks until
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