Will Adjuvant Pembrolizumab Be an Effective Therapy for High-Risk Melanoma?

Source: Cancer Network, June 2019

CHICAGO—Investigators are now enrolling patients for a phase III trial, KEYNOTE-716, to assess the efficacy and safety of adjuvant pembrolizumab in adult and pediatric patients with surgically resected high-risk stage II melanoma. The study design was presented (abstract TPS9596) during a poster session at the 2019 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, held May 31–June 4 in Chicago.

“Patients with localized stage I/II melanoma are typically treated surgically. However, disease recurrence after surgery is common, and adjuvant treatment options that can safely lower the risk for distant recurrence in patients with stage II melanoma are lacking,” wrote the authors led by Matteo S. Carlino, BMedSc, MBBS, of the Melanoma Institute Australia at the University of Sydney.

In the KEYNOTE-054 trial, the immunotherapy pembrolizumab as adjuvant therapy has yielded significantly longer recurrence-free survival compared with placebo in patients with stage III melanoma (75.4% vs 61.0%, respectively). Based upon these promising results, the investigators initiated KEYNOTE-716, a two-part (adjuvant and rechallenge/crossover), randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase III study. Patients are currently being enrolled in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Israel, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

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