Immune response boosters in oncology, approved for melanoma so far, are being evaluated in several different cancer types. While the drugs perform well, there is a definite need to identify responsive patient cohorts.
At first glance, it’s hard to get excited about the preliminary results of an early phase trial study of pembrolizumab (Keytruda, MK-3475) in women with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). The non-randomized study has, so far, yielded an overall response rate of 18.5%—only 5 among 27 evaluable patients.
The findings drew attention at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, in part because TNBC is a notoriously hard-to-treat form of the disease. The work was presented by Rita Nanda, MD, of the University of Chicago, who led a multinational list of authors including academics and several Merck employees.
Keytruda is a monoclonal antibody given by infusion. When it binds PD-1, as it’s engineered to do with high affinity, it can unleash the body’s normal immune cells to fight a tumor. Recently, the FDA approved Keytruda for use in advanced melanoma. Last week, at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology, investigators reported preliminary findings that the drug is well-tolerated and may be helpful in Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Read the complete article in Forbes: http://onforb.es/1BeT6YW