Patients with advanced lung cancer who took the immune-boosting drug Keytruda as their first treatment lived longer on average than those who received chemotherapy, announced Merck at a meeting of the European Society for Medical Oncology in Copenhagen.
In the 305 patient study, about 80% of patients who took Keytruda were alive six months after the start of treatment, compared with 72% of those on chemotherapy. Nearly 45% of patients receiving Keytruda experienced significant tumor shrinkage, versus nearly 28% of the chemotherapy patients.
Bristol-Myers Squibb presented disappointing full results of its study involving rival treatment, Opdivo, which failed to demonstrate that it could slow tumor growth or extend patients’ lives better than existing chemotherapies.
Keytruda and Opdivo are approved in the U.S. to treat lung-cancer patients whose disease has progressed after prior chemotherapy treatment and for some other tumors.
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