On 11 April 2019, the FDA approved single-agent pembrolizumab (Keytruda®, Merck) for the first-line treatment of stage III/IV non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with a PD-L1 Tumor Proportion Score (TPS) ≥1% who are not amenable to surgical resection or definitive chemoradiation and who have no known EGFR or ALK genomic aberrations.
On 6 December 2018, the FDA approved atezolizumab (Tecentriq®, Roche/Genentech) plus bevacizumab and chemotherapy with paclitaxel and carboplatin for the frontline treatment of metastatic non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSq NSCLC) patients not harbouring any EGFR or ALK genomic tumour aberrations.
An interim analysis of the Phase III IMpower132 study showed that atezolizumab (Tecentriq®, Roche/Genentech) plus platinum-based chemotherapy (cisplatin or carboplatin) with pemetrexed improves the median progression-free survival (PFS) in treatment-naïve patients with non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The median PFS for atezolizumab plus pemetrexed and a platinum salt was 7.6 months vs 5.2 months with chemotherapy alone (HR=0.60, 95% CI: 0.49-0.72; p<0.0001).
On May 18, the United States (US) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an alert about the decreased survival in studies with pembrolizumab (Keytruda®) and atezolizumab (Tecentriq®) as single agent first-line therapy for patients with metastatic urothelial cancer (mUCC) and low expression of the programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) protein.
First-line atezolizumab plus bevacizumab, carboplatin and paclitaxel improves PFS in patients with non-squamous NSCLC. Two presentations on the IMPower150 study by Martin Reck (ELCC 2018) and Mark Socinski (AACR 2018) discussed the frontline addition of atezolizumab to bevacizumab and chemotherapy in different lung cancer subgroups (NCT02366143).
AACR 2018: Frontline pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy in NSCLC reduces the risk of death by more than 50%. The Phase III KEYNOTE-189 trial combined pembrolizumab (Keytruda®) plus standard of care platinum-based chemotherapy in non-squamous non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) without EGFR or ALK genetic aberrations (NCT0278680)
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On September 22, 2017, the FDA granted accelerated approval to pembrolizumab (KEYTRUDA, Merck) for use in patients with locally advanced or metastatic, gastric or gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) adenocarcinoma positive for PD-L1 as determined by an FDA-approved companion diagnostic (CDx) and progressing after ≥2 prior systemic therapies, including a fluoropyrimidine– and platinum-containing regimen, and, when appropriate, HER2–targeted therapy.