#AS­CO21: Mer­ck keeps chop­ping away at a path to ear­ly can­cer pa­tients for Keytru­da, this time in kid­ney

In the for­ev­er war be­tween block­buster check­point in­hibitors, Mer­ck’s won­der drug Keytru­da has tak­en a clear edge over its near­est ri­vals in metasta­t­ic, un­re­sectable can­cer. But on the misty fron­tier of ear­ly-stage ther­a­py — where surgery is still an op­tion and cures a dis­tant pos­si­bil­i­ty — the game is still very much afoot, and Mer­ck con­tin­ues fever­ish­ly build­ing Keytru­da’s case.

At a lit­tle-more-than-two-year check­up, Mer­ck’s Keytru­da cut the risk of can­cer re­lapse or death by 32% com­pared with place­bo in re­nal cell car­ci­no­ma pa­tients with a mid-to-high risk of re­cur­rence af­ter a kid­ney re­moval, or af­ter re­moval of a kid­ney and metasta­t­ic le­sions, ac­cord­ing to late-break­ing da­ta from the Phase III KEYNOTE-564 set to be pre­sent­ed at #AS­CO21 this week­end.

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