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Pembrolizumab Update Solidifies Survival Benefit in Bladder Cancer

Angelica Welch
Published: Thursday, Feb 15, 2018

Joaquim Bellmunt MD, PhD

Joaquim Bellmunt MD, PhD
In patients with locally advanced or recurrent urothelial cancer, pembrolizumab (Keytruda) sustained its improvement in overall survival (OS) compared with chemotherapy in a 2-year update of the phase III KEYNOTE-045 trial presented at the 2018 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium.

, lead KEYNOTE-045 investigator Joaquim Bellmunt, MD, PhD, director of the Bladder Cancer Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, discussed the updated pembrolizumab findings, as well as the future of immunotherapy in bladder cancer.

OncLive: Can you give some background on KEYNOTE-045?

Bellmunt: Presently, we have 5 drugs that are approved for treating second-line patients with bladder cancer. Pembrolizumab was shown to be effective in a phase I trial, and then we decided to jump to a phase III study because of the positive results observed in the phase I trial. We started to accrue patients in 2014 and, after 1 year, the trial was completed. A total of 550 patients who failed on first-line platinum-based chemotherapy in the setting of metastatic disease were randomized to receive pembrolizumab or chemotherapy.
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