Mer­ck halts prostate can­cer study while re­port­ing pos­i­tive read­out in bil­iary tract can­cer

Mer­ck is slam­ming the brakes on a late-stage Keytru­da study in prostate can­cer af­ter an in­ter­im analy­sis showed no im­prove­ment in sur­vival, the com­pa­ny an­nounced on Wednes­day. How­ev­er, the phar­ma gi­ant cush­ioned the blow with a pos­i­tive look at a sep­a­rate study in bil­iary tract can­cer.

An in­de­pen­dent da­ta mon­i­tor­ing com­mit­tee re­view­ing the Phase III KEYNOTE-991 tri­al saw no im­prove­ment in over­all sur­vival or ra­di­ograph­ic pro­gres­sion-free sur­vival in a Keytru­da com­bi­na­tion group com­pared to the con­trol group, Mer­ck said in a news re­lease. The tri­al was con­duct­ed in more than 1,200 pa­tients with metasta­t­ic hor­mone-sen­si­tive prostate can­cer (mH­SPC), or those whose can­cer is con­trolled by keep­ing testos­terone lev­els as low as would be ex­pect­ed af­ter cas­tra­tion.

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