Eluded by clear success in esophageal carcinoma, Merck touts subgroup OS win for Keytruda
Merck didn’t exactly get the clean sweep it wanted to show Keytruda beats out standard second-line therapy in esophageal or esophagogastric junction carcinoma — but the eager pharma giant insists that there’s cause for celebration.
In KEYNOTE-181, researchers set out to investigate whether the PD-1 checkpoint star can improve overall survival compared to chemotherapy. While that’s the case for a subgroup of patients whose tumors express PD-L1 (as quantified by a combined positive score, or CPS, of 10 or above), when it came to the entire intention-to-treat population, statistical significance for OS was not met — marking a key miss in the primary endpoint.
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