Merck’s Keytruda Boosts Survival in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Patients
Merck said its blockbuster cancer drug Keytruda (pembrolizumab) improved event-free survival in a late-stage trial in women with high-risk, early-stage breast cancer when combined with chemotherapy before surgery and as a single treatment following surgery.
The phase 3 study enrolled 1,174 patients randomized to receive either Keytruda plus chemotherapy as neoadjuvant therapy, followed by Keytruda as adjuvant therapy, or placebo plus chemotherapy as neoadjuvant therapy, followed by placebo as adjuvant therapy. A monoclonal antibody, Keytruda is an anti-PD-1 therapy that bolsters the immune system’s ability to identify and attack tumor cells.
Keytruda, which is approved for the treatment of multiple cancers, earned global revenues of $14.4 billion in 2020, a 30 percent increase year-over-year.