CHICAGO — Diana L. Hanna, MD, assistant professor of clinical medicine at the University of Southern California’s Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, spoke with HemOnc Today about the potential role of pembrolizumab as an alternative to chemotherapy in the frontline setting for advanced gastric or gastroesophageal junction cancer.
Results of the KEYNOTE-062 study — presented at the ASCO Annual Meeting — showed pembrolizumab (Keytruda, Merck) was noninferior to standard chemotherapy in patients with PD-L1-positive, HER2-negative disease. Hanna said the results have “practicing-changing implications.”
“Prior to these findings, platinum-based doublet chemotherapy or more intense chemotherapy has really been the mainstay of first-line therapy for patients with advanced gastroesophageal cancer,” she said. “This really opens the door to new treatment options.”
Still, more work is needed to address unanswered questions, according to Hanna.
“We need to find better, more precise predictive biomarkers to find the patients who would most benefit from this treatment option,” she said.
Tabernero J, et al. Abstract LBA4007. Presented at: ASCO Annual Meeting; May 31- June 4, 2019; Chicago.
Disclosure: Hanna reports no relevant financial disclosures.