Keytruda Immunotherapy for Treatment of Liver Cancer


According to the results of a study presented at the recent gastrointestinal cancer symposia, Keytruda (pembrolizumab) is an active treatment for advanced liver cancer in patients who have already been treated with Nexavar (sorafenib), (1) and has not been approved by the US for use in patients with liver cancer.

Keytruda was approved as a treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), based on the results of the open-label KEYNOTE-224 trial, which enrolled 104 patients who had relapsed after or were refractory to Nexavar (sorafenib).

Overall the response rate was 17% in the study. Among the responding patients, 89% experienced a duration of response for six months or longer, while in 56% the response duration was 12 months or longer. (2) 

About Liver Cancer

Liver cancer, or hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), is the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide.2,3 The prognosis for patients with advanced liver cancer is poor,2 and the multikinase inhibitors is sub-optimal.

About Keytruda

The cancer immunotherapy strategy known as programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) has generated great excitement for its ability to help the immune system recognize, and attack cancer. 

References:

  1. Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium (GICS) 2018. Abstract 209. Presented January 19, 2018.
  2. https://pharmaphorum.com/news/merck-gets-fda-okay-for-keytruda-as-liver-cancer-therapy/

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