OBR Daily Commentary - ASCO GI Conference Coverage

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First-Time Data for Merck’s KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) in Patients with Previously Treated Advanced Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC) to be Presented at 2018 ASCO GI Symposium

(Merck) Jan 19, 2018 - Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today announced findings from the registrational phase 2 KEYNOTE-224 trial investigating the use of KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab), the company’s anti-PD-1 therapy, in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common type of liver cancer, who were previously treated with systemic therapy (sorafenib).

Howard S. Hochster, MD (Posted: January 19, 2018)

quotesThe Keynote-224 is only a phase 2 study of good performance, very well selected HCC patients after sorafenib. But with a 16% response rate and 77% 6-month survival (median survival not yet reached), this is unprecedented good news for HCC patients. Median time on study was 8 months, which could amount to a very meaningful extension of life. The main question is whether these results will be seen with a more real-life patient population. But these data confirm what is seen with nivolumab and show a real benefit compared to other options in HCC (e.g regorafenib after sorafenib).quotes

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