Keytruda granted FDA approval for expanded use in lung cancer
Merck & Co – known as MSD outside the US and Canada – has announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved its anti-PD-1 therapy Keytruda (pembrolizumab) to treat earlier stages of lung cancer.
The decision, which specifically applies to patients with resectable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), means that Keytruda can now be used in combination with platinum-containing chemotherapy as a neoadjuvant therapy to prepare patients for the surgical removal of their tumour and then as a single agent as an adjuvant treatment after surgery.
Lung cancer is the second most common type of cancer and NSCLC accounts for approximately 81% of all lung cancer cases.
Merck outlined that the approval marks the sixth NSCLC indication for Keytruda, which works by increasing the ability of the body’s immune system to help detect and fight tumour cells.