Please login to the form below

Not currently logged in

Merck’s Keytruda improves outcomes for metastatic cervical cancer patients

Keytruda improved overall survival and progression-free survival regardless of patients' PD-L1 status

Merck – known as MSD outside the US and Canada – has revealed positive results for its checkpoint inhibitor Keytruda in patients with persistent, recurrent or metastatic cervical cancer.

The phase 3 KEYNOTE-826 trial evaluated Keytruda (pembrolizumab) in combination with platinum-based chemotherapy with or without Roche’s Avastin (bevacizumab) for the first-line treatment of adults with persistent, recurrent or metastatic cervical cancer.

According to an interim analysis conducted by an independent data monitoring committee, Keytruda plus chemotherapy, both with or without Avastin, demonstrated significant improvements in overall survival (OS) and progression-free survival (PFS) compared to the same chemotherapy regimens with or without Avastin alone.

Importantly, the OS and PFS benefits were observed in patients regardless of their PD-L1 status, making Keytruda the first anti-PD-1/PD-L1 therapy to do so.

The safety profile of Merck’s drug in the KEYNOTE-826 trial was also found to be consistent with previously reported studies.

The positive results are a win for Merck, given that KEYNOTE-826 is the confirmatory trial for the current accelerated approval of Keytruda as a second-line treatment of patients with recurrent or metastatic cervical cancer, following chemotherapy, whose tumours express PD-L1.

“Women diagnosed with metastatic cervical cancer have a particularly poor prognosis, and there is an urgent need for new treatment options,” said Roy Baynes, senior vice president and head of global clinical development, chief medical officer, Merck Research Laboratories.

“KEYNOTE-826 is the first study to show positive results for immunotherapy in first-line persistent, recurrent or metastatic cervical cancer, and we look forward to sharing these findings at an upcoming congress and discussing them with regulatory authorities,” he added.

In March, Sanofi and Regeneron revealed positive data for their PD-1 inhibitor Libtayo (cemiplimab) in patients previously treated with chemotherapy whose cervical cancer is recurrent or metastatic.

The phase 3 study included women with either cervical squamous cell carcinoma or adenocarcinoma, who were randomised to receive Libtayo monotherapy or an investigator’s choice of commonly used chemotherapy.

In comparison to chemotherapy, Libtayo reduced the risk of death by 31% compared to chemotherapy in the total population.

For women with cervical squamous cell carcinoma, Libtayo also reduced the risk of death by 27% compared to chemotherapy, and for adenocarcinoma the risk of death was reduced by 44%.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

23rd June 2021

From: Research



COVID-19 Updates and Daily News

Featured jobs


Add my company

Triducive are a strategic healthcare consultancy who produce communications that have practical, dynamic application that encourage behaviour change because of the...

Latest intelligence

JulAug cover image
The Chronicles of Pharma: a creative review of pharma’s journey to omnichannel
Chris Ross conducts a literary-inspired review of pharma’s pursuit of communications excellence...
The key to psoriasis innovation? Dispelling the shadow of the JAK inhibitor
Powerful therapies that can improve skin clarity dominate the psoriasis landscape, so why are most patients stuck in a cycle of ineffective topicals? Fishawack Health explores the market and reveals...
Virtual Speaker Program: A Customer Story
Learn how we helped our client develop a virtual speaker program and roll out a series of regional peer-to-peer education sessions....