Addition of pembrolizumab to chemotherapy improves response in metastatic non-small cell lung cancer
A phase 3 trial designed to assess pembrolizumab in combination with chemotherapy as first-line treatment for patients with metastatic squamous non-small cell lung cancer met its secondary endpoint of overall response rate, according to results of an interim analysis from the randomized phase 3 KEYNOTE-407 trial.
Pembrolizumab (Keytruda, Merck) is a humanized monoclonal antibody that blocks the interaction between PD-1 and its ligands, PD-L1 and PD-L2.
In the double-blind, placebo-controlled KEYNOTE-407 trial, researchers compared pembrolizumab in combination with chemotherapy — either carboplatin-paclitaxel or nab-paclitaxel — with chemotherapy alone as first-line therapy for patients with metastatic squamous NSCLC.
The study included 560 patients who had received no prior systemic therapy for advanced disease. OS and PFS served as dual primary endpoints. Secondary endpoints included ORR, which was alpha controlled in a cohort of the first 200 patients, and duration of response.
Results showed improved ORR among patients treated with pembrolizumab.
The study results will be presented during an oral presentation at ASCO Annual Meeting.
Pembrolizumab already is approved for several indications in the United States, including treatment of certain patients with NSCLC, melanoma, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, classical Hodgkin lymphoma, urothelial carcinoma, gastric or gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma, and unresectable or metastatic microsatellite instability-high or mismatch repair-deficient cancers.