Keytruda Reduces Risk of Relapse of Kidney Cancer in Trials
Merck said its blockbuster cancer drug Keytruda (pembrolizumab) significantly reduced disease recurrence in patients with renal cell carcinoma following surgical kidney removal.
In a phase 3 study, Keytruda reduced the risk of disease relapse or death by 32 percent vs. placebo after a follow-up of more than two years, the company said. At two years, the estimated disease-free survival rate was 77.3 percent in the Keytruda arm vs. 68.1 percent in the placebo cohort.
The latest results make Keytruda the first immunotherapy to show a benefit for treating kidney cancer in an adjuvant setting, said the trial’s lead investigator, Toni Choueiri.
Keytruda earned global revenue of $14.4 billion in 2020.