Keytruda Shows Meaningful Clinical Benefit When Combined with Standard Therapy for Aggressive Breast Cancer

Keytruda Shows Meaningful Clinical Benefit When Combined with Standard Therapy for Aggressive Breast Cancer
Two independent studies have added new evidence to the benefits of combined therapies with Merck's PD-1 inhibitor Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for the treatment of aggressive triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). Adding Keytruda to standard therapies for breast cancer improved the number of patients achieving a complete response to therapy. The findings will be featured in a poster, “Efficacy/safety of epacadostat plus pembrolizumab in triple-negative breast cancer and ovarian cancer: Phase I/II ECHO-202 study,” to be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2017 Annual Meeting, set for June 2-6 in Chicago. Designed to target the PD-1 receptor, Keytruda is meant to improve the activity of immune T-cells capable of fighting cancer cells. Originally approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat melanoma, Keytruda has since won FDA approval for several other cancers, such as non-small cell lung cancer, head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL), and bladder cancer. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania's Abramson Cancer Center are currently studying the benefits of Keytruda for other cancer types, including TNBC. Their Phase 1/2 ECHO-202 trial (NCT02178722) involved 39 patients with TNBC who received a combination of Keytruda and an investigational checkpoint inhibitor known as epacadostat, developed by
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