Cancer News

Keytruda Effective in Patients with Relapsed or Refractory Lymphoma

CancerConnect News: Findings from the KEYNOTE-170 clinical trial Presented at the 59th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting suggest that the novel immunotherapy medication keytruda® (pembrolizumab) represents a new treatment option for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

About Keytruda

Keytruda is a monoclonal antibody that helps to restore the body’s immune system in fighting cancer. It creates its anti-cancer effects by blocking a specific protein used by cancer cells called the programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1), to escape an attack by the immune system. Once PD-L1 is blocked, cells of the immune system are able to identify cancer cells as a threat, and initiate an attack to destroy the cancer.

About Primary Mediastinal Large B-Cell Lymphoma

PMBCL is a sub-type of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma) that starts in the space between the lungs, called the mediastinum. PMBCL mainly affects young adults (with a median age of 35), and occurs slightly more often in women. PMBCL accounts for two to four percent of all non-Hodgkin lymphomas in the U.S.

About KEYNOTE-170

KEYNOTE-170 is an ongoing phase 2 clinical trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of keytruda in patients with relapsed or refractory PMBCL and in patients with relapsed or refractory Richter syndrome. The PMBCL cohort enrolled patients who relapsed after or were refractory to ASCT, or were ineligible for ASCT; patients ineligible for ASCT had to have relapsed or refractory disease after two or more lines of prior therapy.

Keytruda therapy was well tolerated and consistent with its use in other cancer types. Overall 41 percent of patents responded to treatment with keytruda in the trial and 24 percent had a compete disappearance of their cancer. The median time to response was 2.8 months and the average duration of response has not yet been reached (range: 1.1+ to 13.6+ months).   The United States Food and Drug Administration has accepted the Supplemental Biologics License Application and assigned Priority Review to keytruda for treatment of relapsed or refractory Primary Mediastinal Large B-Cell Lymphoma.

Reference:  (Abstract #2833) 59th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting in Atlanta on Sunday, Dec. 10.

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