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FDA approves Keytruda plus chemotherapy for cervical cancer – Merck

Written by | 22 Jan 2022 | Oncology & Haematology

Merck Inc., announced that the FDA has approved Keytruda (pembrolizumab) in combination with chemotherapy, with or without bevacizumab, for the treatment of patients with persistent, recurrent or metastatic cervical cancer whose tumors express PD-L1 (Combined Positive Score [CPS] at least 1) as determined by an FDA-approved test.

The approval is based on the Phase III KEYNOTE-826 trial evaluating Keytruda plus chemotherapy (paclitaxel plus cisplatin or paclitaxel plus carboplatin), with or without bevacizumab, compared to the same chemotherapy regimens, with or without bevacizumab.

In this patient population, Keytruda plus chemotherapy, with or without bevacizumab, demonstrated superior overall survival (OS; HR=0.64 [95% CI, 0.50-0.81]; p=0.0001) and progression-free survival (PFS; HR=0.62 [95% CI, 0.50-0.77]; p<0.0001) compared to chemotherapy, with or without bevacizumab, in patients whose tumors express PD-L1 (CPS at least 1).

Additionally, more patients responded to Keytruda plus chemotherapy, with or without bevacizumab, than to chemotherapy, with or without bevacizumab, with an objective response rate (ORR) of 68% (95% CI, 62-74) versus 50% (95% CI, 44-56), respectively. Among patients who responded, the median duration of response (DOR) was 18.0 months (range, 1.3+ to 24.2+) for Keytruda plus chemotherapy, with or without bevacizumab, and 10.4 months (range, 1.5+ to 22.0+) for chemotherapy, with or without bevacizumab.

The FDA also converted the accelerated approval of Keytruda as a single agent for the treatment of patients with recurrent or metastatic cervical cancer with disease progression on or after chemotherapy whose tumors express PD-L1 (CPS at least 1), as determined by an FDA-approved test, to a regular approval based on confirmatory data from KEYNOTE-826.

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