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Merck : KEYTRUDA-pemetrexed-platinum Chemotherapy Combination Improved OS

Merck (MRK) announced results from KEYNOTE-189, a pivotal Phase 3 trial evaluating KEYTRUDA, Merck's anti-PD-1 therapy, in combination with pemetrexed or ALIMTA and cisplatin or carboplatin for the first-line treatment of metastatic nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer or NSCLC.

Findings showed that the KEYTRUDA-pemetrexed-platinum chemotherapy combination significantly improved overall survival or OS, reducing the risk of death by half compared with chemotherapy alone (HR=0.49 [95% CI, 0.38-0.64]; p<0.00001).

In pre-specified exploratory analyses, an OS benefit was observed regardless of PD-L1 expression in the three PD-L1 categories that were evaluated, including: patients whose tumors were negative for PD-L1 (HR=0.59 [95% CI, 0.38-0.92]); patients whose tumors had PD-L1 tumor proportion scores (TPS) of 1-49 percent (HR=0.55 [95% CI, 0.34-0.90]); and patients who had a TPS of greater than or equal to 50 percent (HR=0.42 [95% CI, 0.26-0.68]).

The addition of KEYTRUDA to pemetrexed plus platinum chemotherapy also achieved a significant improvement in progression-free survival (PFS), with a reduction in the risk of progression or death of nearly half for patients in the KEYTRUDA combination arm, compared with chemotherapy alone (HR=0.52 [95% CI, 0.43-0.64]; p<0.00001).

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