Keytruda® Approved for Small Cell Lung Cancer

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted approval for Keytruda® (pembrolizumab) to treat metastatic small cell lung cancer (SCLC).

Pembrolizumab was approved as a third-line therapy for SCLC patients who still present disease progression despite current or past platinum-based chemo and at least one other prior line of therapy, according to the FDA.

Keytruda is manufactured by Merck.

“KEYTRUDA is already an established treatment option for non-small cell lung cancer, and today’s approval in small cell lung cancer demonstrates our commitment to bringing forward new treatment options for patients with advanced, difficult-to-treat cancers,” said Jonathan Cheng, MD, vice president, oncology clinical research, Merck Research Laboratories, in a press release. “We look forward to continuing to advance important clinical research in small cell lung cancer.”

“Small cell lung cancer, which accounts for 10 to 15% of all lung cancers, is often diagnosed at an advanced stage where the prognosis is very poor and there have historically been limited treatment options,” said Patrick Ott, MD, PhD, clinical director, Center for Immuno-Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. “The approval of KEYTRUDA in small cell lung cancer provides an additional treatment option for patients based on the clinical response rates from KEYNOTE-158 and KEYNOTE-028.”



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