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Challenging the standard of care in advanced melanoma: focus on pembrolizumab

Authors Abdul-Karim RM, Cowey CL

Received 18 March 2017

Accepted for publication 17 July 2017

Published 25 September 2017 Volume 2017:9 Pages 433—442


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Alexandra R. Fernandes

Raghad M Abdul-Karim,1 C Lance Cowey2–4

1Baylor Sammons Cancer Center, 2Melanoma and Genitourinary Oncology Program, Baylor University Medical Center, Sammons Cancer Center Texas Oncology,3Baylor Skin Malignancy Research and Treatment Center, Baylor University Medical Center, 4Developmental Therapeutics Program, US Oncology Research, Dallas, TX, USA

Abstract: The last several years have seen a dramatic rise in the number of effective therapies that have been shown to improve survival outcomes for patients with advanced melanoma. Among these treatments are the immune checkpoint inhibitors, a new class of immunotherapy, that have demonstrated the ability to improve both response rates and survival outcomes. Pembrolizumab, an immune checkpoint inhibitor that blocks the negative regulatory PD-1 receptor on T-cell lymphocytes, has shown improved efficacy compared to standard therapies with an acceptable tolerability profile. Additionally, this agent is being evaluated in adjuvant and combination trial strategies that have great potential to further advance outcomes. This review focuses on the advances that pembrolizumab has made in melanoma and what studies are upcoming that could change the future of melanoma treatment yet again.

Keywords: keytruda, MK-3475, immune checkpoint inhibitor, PD-1 inhibitor, adjuvant therapy, combination therapies, immunotherapy

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