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Keytruda improves PFS in classical Hodgkin lymphoma

MSD has announced more Keytruda (pembrolizumab) results, this time for the treatment of adult patients with relapsed or refractory classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL).

In the Phase III KEYNOTE-204 trial, the company says that the cancer blockbuster met one of its dual primary endpoints of progression-free survival (PFS). The drug demonstrated a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in PFS compared with brentuximab vedotin (BV) – also sold as Adcetris by Seattle Genetics.

The other dual endpoint – overall survival – was not formally tested at this interim analysis, but the study will allegedly continue to evaluate this.

Further to the findings, the safety profile of Keytruda in this trial was consistent with previously reported studies, and no new safety signals were identified.

“Patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma are generally young and when they do not achieve remission following standard treatment, their cancer is challenging to treat,” said Dr. Jonathan Cheng, vice president, oncology clinical research, MSD Research Laboratories. “These pivotal phase III data indicate a statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvement in progression-free survival with Keytruda compared, in head to head fashion, with the currently approved therapy of brentuximab vedotin. These data are strongly supportive of Keytruda’s current indication in cHL and we plan to file these data with regulatory authorities as quickly as is possible.”

Last month it was announced that Keytruda also significantly prolonged PFS when added to chemo in a triple-negative breast cancer trial, adding to its long list of indications and abilities.

Hodgkin’s lymphoma — formerly known as Hodgkin’s disease — is a cancer of the lymphatic system, which is part of your immune system. It may affect people of any age, but is most common in people between 20 and 40 years old and those over 55.