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Keytruda bags another EU approval in frontline lung cancer

March 14, 2019 / Phil Taylor

Merck & Co/MSD has tightened its hold on the first-line lung cancer market with another EU approval for Keytruda – this time for its use alongside chemotherapy in patients with metastatic squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The European approval comes after Keytruda was approved for this indication in the US last October, and is great news for patients with squamous forms of NSCLC who have seen treatment advances – and particularly cancer immunotherapies – lag behind other NSCLC subtypes. Keytruda’s approval in squamous NSCLC comes on the back of the KEYNOTE-407 trial reported at last year’s ASCO meeting, which showed that combining the PD-1 inhibitor with either generic carboplatin or nab-paclitaxel, the active ingredient in Celgene’s Abraxane and various generic rivals in Europe, improved overall survival. Many patients with advanced squamous NSCLC are still being treated with chemotherapy, although Keytruda has been approved as a mono...