Dr. Jones on the Importance of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors in CRC

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Jeremy C. Jones, MD, discusses key lessons learned from the phase 3 KEYNOTE-177 trial.

Jeremy C. Jones, MD, hematologist/oncologist, Mayo Clinic, discusses key lessons learned from the phase 3 KEYNOTE-177 trial (NCT02563002), which examined the use of the checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab (Keytruda) in patients with microsatellite instability–high or mismatch repair deficient stage IV colorectal cancer.

Approximately 40% of the patients who were enrolled to the phase 3 trial had not received treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors at any time point during their disease course, which is not best practice, according to Jones. It has been shown that even patients with a high disease burden or marginal performance status can achieve responses to immune checkpoint inhibitors and experience improved outcomes, Jones notes. As such, it is important to utilize immune checkpoint inhibitors in the treatment of this patient population, preferably in the first-line setting, Jones concludes.

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