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Skin Cancer Updates

Pembrolizumab in advanced melanoma

Pembrolizumab (Keytruda) provided promising antitumor activity in Japanese patients with advanced melanoma and a safety profile similar to that reported in other studies.Why this matters

  • These early data support further clinical development for the use of pembrolizumab in this population.

Study design

  • A phase Ib study that evaluated the safety and antitumor activity of pembrolizumab in 42 Japanese patients with advanced melanoma (37 evaluable).
  • Funding: MSD K.K.

Key results

  • 75.7% (n=28) of the cohort had tumor shrinkage of varying degrees.
  • Overall response rate (ORR) was 24.1% for the 29 patients with cutaneous melanoma.
  • Median time to response was 12.3 wk, and median duration was not reached.
  • Of 7 patients who experienced a response, 5 (71.4%) have stayed progression-free.
  • Median PFS for the cutaneous melanoma cohort was 4.2 mo.
  • Of the 8 patients with mucosal melanoma, the ORR was 25.0% (n=2), and median time to response was 17.8 wk. Median duration has not yet been reached, and the 2 patients who responded remain progression-free.
  • Median PFS for the mucosal melanoma cohort was 3.4 mo.
  • 81.0% experienced at least 1 adverse event.


  • Early-phase data.


Yamazaki N, Takenouchi T, Fujimoto M, Ihn H, Uchi H, Inozume T, Kiyohara Y, Uhara H, Nakagawa K, Furukawa H, Wada H, Noguchi K, Shimamoto T, Yokota K. Phase 1b study of pembrolizumab (MK-3475; anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody) in Japanese patients with advanced melanoma (KEYNOTE-041). Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2017 Mar 11 [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1007/s00280-016-3237-x. PMID: 28283736

Ailesbury Dublin

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Douglas, Cork. 

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Galway (021) 4835006

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Ailesbury Clinic is now opening monthly at Bellisimo Galway with Dr. Olga O' Driscoll MICGP. Dip. Aesthetic Medicine (right)  




Ailesbury Galway                   

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Galway (091)568 555

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