Skip to Content

Join the 'Keytruda' group to help and get support from people like you.

Keytruda News

Powerful Cancer Drugs Linked to Rare Heart Risks

Posted 3 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Nov. 3, 2016 – In rare cases, potent drugs that prompt the immune system to fight cancer may threaten the heart in the process, researchers report. Known as immunotherapy, these medications have transformed cancer treatment in recent years, sending some patients who had few options left into remission. But a report in the Nov. 3 issue of New England Journal of Medicine describes two cases where patients with advanced melanoma died of heart trouble two weeks after receiving their first doses of Opdivo (nivolumab) and Yervoy (ipilimumab). One patient was a 65-year-old woman who died following a rapid heartbeat and organ failure, while the other patient was a 63-year-old man who died after two rounds of sudden cardiac arrest. With a heart attack, blood flow to the heart is blocked and tissue damage occurs, while in the case of sudden cardiac arrest the heart suddenly stops ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Melanoma, Melanoma - Metastatic, Opdivo, Keytruda, Yervoy, Tecentriq, Nivolumab, Pembrolizumab, Campath, Lemtrada, Ipilimumab, Alemtuzumab, Atezolizumab

FDA Approves Merck’s Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for First-Line Treatment of Certain Patients with Metastatic Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Posted 25 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

KENILWORTH, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE) October 24, 2016 --Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Keytruda (pembrolizumab), the company’s anti-PD-1 (programmed death receptor-1) therapy, for the first-line treatment of patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose tumors have high PD-L1 expression (tumor proportion score [TPS] of 50 percent or more) as determined by an FDA-approved test, with no EGFR or ALK genomic tumor aberrations. With this new indication, Keytruda is now the only anti-PD-1 therapy to be approved in the first-line treatment setting for these patients. In addition, the FDA approved a labeling update to include data from KEYNOTE-010 in the second-line or greater treatment setting for patients with metastatic NSCLC whose tumors express PD-L1 (TPS of ... Read more

Related support groups: Lung Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Keytruda, Pembrolizumab

More Cancer Patients Gaining From Immune-Based Treatments

Posted 20 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 20, 2016 – A leading cancer group says more Americans are benefiting from immunotherapy – a relatively new treatment approach that helps the immune system target and destroy cancer cells. "The promise of immunotherapy for cancer therapy has never been greater, and the opportunity to make significant progress in this critical area is real," said Dr. Nancy Davidson, president of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). The AACR issued the news on immunotherapy as part of its 2016 Cancer Progress Report. As the group explained, more types of cancer are being successfully treated with immunotherapy. This treatment involves adding new cancer-fighting cells to the body or adding new elements, such as antibodies and proteins, to help the immune system fight cancer. In August 2015, one class of immunotherapy drugs – called checkpoint inhibitors – was approved for ... Read more

Related support groups: Lung Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Melanoma, Bladder Cancer, Melanoma - Metastatic, Opdivo, Head and Neck Cancer, Keytruda, Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Tecentriq, Nivolumab, Pembrolizumab, Atezolizumab

FDA Approves Merck’s Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for Patients with Recurrent or Metastatic Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Posted 8 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

KENILWORTH, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--August 5, 2016 Merck (NYSE:MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Keytruda (pembrolizumab), the company’s anti-PD-1 (programmed death receptor-1) therapy, at a fixed dose of 200 mg every three weeks, for the treatment of patients with recurrent or metastatic head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) with disease progression on or after platinum-containing chemotherapy. Under the FDA’s accelerated approval regulations, this indication for Keytruda is approved based on tumor response rate and durability of response. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in the confirmatory trials. For HNSCC patients, PD-L1 testing is not needed prior to use of Keytruda. The approval is based on data ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Head and Neck Cancer, Keytruda, Pembrolizumab

U.S. Pays Highest Prices for Cancer Meds: Study

Posted 6 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 6, 2016 – The United States pays the highest prices in the world for generic and brand-name cancer drugs, a new study has found. However, as the world's wealthiest nation, the United States is better able to pay for those pricey drugs than poorer countries with somewhat lower medication prices, added study lead author Dr. Daniel Goldstein. People in China and India are much less able to afford cancer drugs than Americans, he said, even though U.S. monthly drug prices are about three to six times higher in the United States. That doesn't mean America came out on top in overall drug affordability, however. Developed nations such as Australia, England and Israel had the "best deal" in the world on cancer drugs, thanks to government programs that regulate drug pricing, the study found. "America is the wealthiest nation, but its drug prices are significantly higher – so much ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Provera, Depo-Provera, Methotrexate, Breast Cancer, Accutane, Lupron, Tamoxifen, Medroxyprogesterone, Arimidex, Tretinoin, Fluorouracil, Lupron Depot, Femara, Gleevec, Colorectal Cancer, Lung Cancer, Isotretinoin, Rituxan, Claravis

'Precision' Cancer Treatment May Extend Lives

Posted 20 May 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 19, 2016 – "Precision" cancer treatment that's guided by genetic clues from the patient's own tumor appears to outperform traditional chemotherapy, a new research review finds. Patients given precision – or personalized – treatment experienced a tumor shrinkage rate six times that attained by regular chemotherapy. But, that only happened if doctors used genetic information to choose the appropriate targeted therapy, said lead researcher Maria Schwaederle. Those patients also experienced nearly double the length of time before their cancer resumed growing, according to the analysis of nearly 350 clinical trials. "It is not just that the therapies are better, but that targeted therapies must be given to the right patients," said Schwaederle, who's with the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine's Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy. She will present ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Methotrexate, Breast Cancer, Accutane, Tretinoin, Fluorouracil, Gleevec, Colorectal Cancer, Lung Cancer, Isotretinoin, Claravis, Tarceva, Xeloda, Skin Cancer, BCG, Revlimid, Tasigna, Hydroxyurea, Sprycel, Zytiga

Melanoma Drug Boosting Survival for Many, Study Shows

Posted 19 May 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 19, 2016 – A new drug for advanced melanoma is dramatically shifting the odds in favor of patients, extending survival for many and even curing some. Keytruda (pembrolizumab) helped keep four in 10 patients with advanced melanoma alive three years after starting treatment, according to the results of a new clinical trial. The drug also caused complete remission in 15 percent of patients, and many remained cancer-free even after they quit taking Keytruda, said Dr. Caroline Robert, head of the dermatology unit at the Institut Gustave-Roussy in Paris, France. Keytruda already has scored one very high-profile success – it's one of the drugs taken by former President Jimmy Carter, 91, in his successful battle last year against melanoma that had spread to his brain. However, the drug comes with a hefty price tag – an estimated $12,500 a month. Prior to the advent of targeted ... Read more

Related support groups: Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Melanoma - Metastatic, Keytruda, History - Skin Cancer

Drug Shows Promise Against Rare, Aggressive Skin Cancer

Posted 19 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 19, 2016 – A newer drug that boosts the immune system's ability to kill tumor cells may help people with a rare, aggressive form of skin cancer, a preliminary study suggests. The intravenous drug, marketed as Keytruda, is already used to treat some advanced cases of melanoma, another dangerous form of skin cancer. The new study tested it against a skin tumor called Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC). Most people have probably never heard of the cancer, but MCC is deadlier than melanoma, said Dr. Paul Nghiem, a professor of medicine at the University of Washington, who led the new study. When the disease reaches an advanced stage, chemotherapy is an option – but not a good one, Nghiem said. "Chemotherapy will often shrink the cancer," he said. "But it comes back quickly, and even angrier." Plus, chemo can take a toll on the immune system. "And that's a very bad idea in these ... Read more

Related support groups: Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Melanoma - Metastatic, Keytruda, History - Skin Cancer, Merkel Cell Carcinoma

FDA Approves Expanded Indication for Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for the Treatment of Patients with Advanced Melanoma

Posted 23 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

KENILWORTH, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE) December 18, 2015 --Merck (NYSE:MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved an expanded indication for Keytruda (pembrolizumab), the company’s anti-PD-1 (programmed death receptor-1) therapy, to include the first-line treatment of patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma. This approval marks the second FDA-approved indication in advanced melanoma for Keytruda, which is now the first anti-PD-1 therapy approved for previously untreated advanced melanoma patients regardless of BRAF status. The FDA-approved dose of Keytruda is 2 mg/kg every three weeks. In a Phase 3 trial, KEYNOTE-006, patients with unresectable or metastatic melanoma who were treated with Keytruda experienced superior overall survival (OS) compared to those treated with ipilimumab. In this s ... Read more

Related support groups: Melanoma, Melanoma - Metastatic, Keytruda, Pembrolizumab

Keytruda May Help Fight Tough-to-Treat Lung Cancer

Posted 21 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, Dec. 19, 2015 – The immune therapy drug Keytruda (pembrolizumab) may extend the lives of people with advanced lung cancer, a new study finds. Keytruda is commonly used to treat other tumor types, and made headlines recently after it helped former President Jimmy Carter fight off brain cancer. In this study, researchers compared Keytruda to the chemotherapy drug docetaxel in more than 1,000 patients with non-small cell lung cancer. All of the patients were battling tumors that had progressed even after chemotherapy. Non-small cell lung cancer is the leading form of the disease. All of the patients' tumors produced a protein called PD-L1, which can shield the tumor from immune system attack, according to a team led by Dr. Roy Herbst, professor of medicine at Yale University School of Medicine. Among patients with the highest amounts of PD-L1, those who received Keytruda lived ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Lung Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Taxotere, Keytruda, Docetaxel, Docefrez

Jimmy Carter's Recovery Highlights Power of New Cancer Treatments

Posted 7 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 7, 2015 – Former President Jimmy Carter's remarkable response to his treatment for brain cancer can be chalked up in part to significant recent advances in medicine, cancer experts say. Carter, 91, announced on Sunday that brain scans have shown there are no longer any signs of the melanoma cancer that had spread to his brain. That does not mean, however, that he has been cured of the cancer, and he will continue to undergo medical treatment. His successful treatment benefited from improvements in radiation therapy and immunotherapy, said Dr. Alexis Demopoulos, director of neuro-oncology at North Shore-LIJ's Brain Tumor Center in Lake Success, N.Y. "I'm not surprised he did as well as he did," said Demopoulos. "We're on the edge of a revolution in oncology." Early detection of Carter's brain lesions also helped, as did the relatively small size and fortuitous location of ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Brain Tumor, Melanoma, Melanoma - Metastatic, Keytruda, Diagnosis and Investigation, Head Imaging

Jimmy Carter Says Brain Scans Show No Signs of Cancer

Posted 7 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 7, 2015 – Former President Jimmy Carter said on Sunday that brain scans have shown there are no longer any signs of the melanoma cancer that had spread to his brain. The news comes roughly three months after he began treatment for four small lesions in his brain and had surgery to remove part of his liver. However, Carter said in a statement that he will continue to take Keytruda, an immunotherapy drug that helps his body recognize and fight any stray cancer cells. "My most recent MRI brain scan did not reveal any signs of the original cancer spots nor any new ones," Carter said in the statement. Carter broke the news to a Sunday school class at Marantha Baptist Church in Plains. Ga., according to the Associated Press. Carter, 91, first announced in August that he had been diagnosed with melanoma that had spread to his brain. Along with the liver surgery, he received a ... Read more

Related support groups: Melanoma, Melanoma - Metastatic, Keytruda, Diagnosis and Investigation, Head Imaging

Keytruda Approved for Leading Form of Lung Cancer

Posted 2 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 2, 2015 – Keytruda (pembrolizumab) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat advanced cases of the most common type of lung malignancy, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The drug is approved for people whose tumors produce a protein called PD-L1, and whose cancer has lingered despite use of other treatments, the agency said Friday in a news release. Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death in the United States, accounting for more than 220,000 cases and more than 158,000 deaths so far this year, the FDA said. Keytruda, in blocking the PD-L1 protein, helps the body better fight this cancer, the FDA explained. The drug was first approved in 2014 to treat advanced melanoma skin cancer. Keytruda's performance in fighting lung cancer was evaluated in clinical studies of 550 people with advanced disease. The most common side effects ... Read more

Related support groups: Lung Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Keytruda, Pembrolizumab

FDA Approves New Treatment for Lung Cancer

Posted 2 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 2, 2015 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved an immunotherapy drug for the treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer. Keytruda (pembrolizumab) can be used to treat advanced non-small cell lung cancer in patients whose disease has progressed after previous treatments and who have tumors that express a protein called PD-L1, the agency said. "Today's approval of Keytruda gives physicians the ability to target specific patients who may be most likely to benefit from this drug," Dr. Richard Pazdur, director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in an agency news release. The Merck & Co. drug was approved for use with a companion diagnostic test that is the first designed to detect PD-L1 expression in non-small cell lung tumors, the FDA said in the news release. By blocking what ... Read more

Related support groups: Lung Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Keytruda, Pembrolizumab

FDA Approves Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for Advanced Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Posted 2 Oct 2015 by Drugs.com

October 2, 2015 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today granted accelerated approval for Keytruda (pembrolizumab) to treat patients with advanced (metastatic) non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) whose disease has progressed after other treatments and with tumors that express a protein called PD-L1. Keytruda is approved for use with a companion diagnostic, the PD-L1 IHC 22C3 pharmDx test, the first test designed to detect PD-L1 expression in non-small cell lung tumors. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, with an estimated 221,200 new diagnoses and 158,040 deaths in 2015, according to the National Cancer Institute. NSCLC is the most common type of lung cancer.“Our growing understanding of underlying molecular pathways and how our immune system interacts with cancer is leading to important advances in medicine,” said Richard Pazdur, M.D., director o ... Read more

Related support groups: Lung Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Keytruda, Pembrolizumab

Page 1 2 Next

Ask a Question

Further Information

Related Condition Support Groups

Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Head and Neck Cancer, Melanoma - Metastatic, Melanoma

Keytruda Patient Information at Drugs.com