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Positive five-year Keytruda survival data revealed at ESMO in metastatic, PD-L1+ non-small cell lung cancer

Published on 22/09/20 at 12:16pm

MSD took the opportunity at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Virtual Congress 2020 to unveil new Phase 3 efficacy data for its anti-PD-1 therapy Keytruda (pembrolizumab) in the first-line treatment of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in patients with PD-L1-positive tumours with no EGFR or ALK genomic aberrations.

The data revealed that, after a median of five years following initial treatment, patients who received Keytruda showed an overall survival (OS) rate of 31.9%, almost double the OS rate demonstrated by chemotherapy. This represented a reduction in mortality risk of 38% over chemotherapy, while median OS for the Keytruda group stood at 26.3%, compared to 13.4 months with chemotherapy.

The OS benefit generated by Keytruda was reached despite a crossover rate of 66% in patients receiving chemotherapy moving to anti-PD1/PD-L1 therapy.

Objective response rate was measured at 46.1% with Keytruda compared to 31.1% with chemotherapy, with a median duration of response of 29.1 months versus 6.3 months respectively. MSD’s therapy also cut the risk of disease progression or death in half compared to chemotherapy, and 81.4% of Keytruda patients survived for five years, with 46% treatment-free. 

“Before 2014, the five-year survival rate for patients in the U.S. with advanced non-small cell lung cancer was only 5%. Data presented today from KEYNOTE-024 showed that 31.9% of patients treated with Keytruda were alive at five years,” said Dr Martin Reck of Lung Clinic Grosshansdorf at the German Center of Lung Research. “Survival outcomes in these patients with metastatic lung cancer did not seem possible to many oncologists, including myself, several years ago.”

Matt Fellows

MSD took the opportunity at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Virtual Congress 2020 to unveil new Phase 3 efficacy data for its anti-PD-1 therapy Keytruda (pembrolizumab) in the first-line treatment of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in patients with PD-L1-positive tumours with no EGFR or ALK genomic aberrations. 

The data revealed that, after a median of five years following initial treatment, patients who received Keytruda showed an overall survival (OS) rate of 31.9%, almost double the OS rate demonstrated by chemotherapy. This represented a reduction in mortality risk of 38% over chemotherapy, while median OS for the Keytruda group stood at 26.3%, compared to 13.4 months with chemotherapy.

The OS benefit generated by Keytruda was reached despite a crossover rate of 66% in patients receiving chemotherapy moving to anti-PD1/PD-L1 therapy.

Objective response rate was measured at 46.1% with Keytruda compared to 31.1% with chemotherapy, with a median duration of response of 29.1 months versus 6.3 months respectively. MSD’s therapy also cut the risk of disease progression or death in half compared to chemotherapy, and 81.4% of Keytruda patients survived for five years, with 46% treatment-free.  

“Before 2014, the five-year survival rate for patients in the U.S. with advanced non-small cell lung cancer was only 5%. Data presented today from KEYNOTE-024 showed that 31.9% of patients treated with Keytruda were alive at five years,” said Dr Martin Reck of Lung Clinic Grosshansdorf at the German Center of Lung Research. “Survival outcomes in these patients with metastatic lung cancer did not seem possible to many oncologists, including myself, several years ago.”

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