NICE Recommends Keytruda as a First-Line Treatment for Colorectal Cancer

May 17, 2021

The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended Merck’s Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for National Health Service use as first-line treatment for adults with untreated metastatic colorectal cancers with high levels of microsatellite instability or DNA mismatch repair deficiency.

The recommendation was supported by results from a phase 3 study in which Keytruda slowed or stopped progression of these types of colorectal cancers by an average of 16.5 months, compared with just 8.2 months for patients treated with chemotherapy.

The blockbuster cancer drug, which is approved for treatment of multiple cancers, earned global sales of $14.4 billion in 2020.

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