Recently we reported that KEYTRUDA was found to work better than chemo as a first line defence for advanced bowel cancer patients with the genetic mutations MSI-H or dMMR.
A report just released has shown it also gives patients double the survival rates over chemo. 11 % of patients on the trial showed complete remission with 32.7% with partial remission.

At the virtual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) last week, researchers revealed the interim results of the KEYNOTE-177 study that compared KEYTRUDA with chemotherapy in patients with MSI-H/dMMR metastatic colon cancer.

The study on 307 patients showed that the KEYTRUDA treatment group had 16.5 months in PFS, more than twice that of the chemotherapy group with 8.2 months.

Only 22 percent of the KEYTRUDA-treated patients experienced adverse events of Grade 3 or higher, versus 66 percent of the chemotherapy group, the results showed.

Forty-eight percent of the patients in the KEYTRUDA group survived without disease progression at 24 months, versus 19 percent in the chemo group. The KEYTRUDA group’s objective response rate was 43.8 percent, compared to the chemo group’s 33.1 percent.

The KEYTRUDA-treated group showed 11 percent complete remission (CR), 32.7 percent partial remission (PR), and 20.9 percent stable disease (SD). The chemo group’s CR, PR, and SD stood at 3.9 percent, 29.2 percent, and 42.2 percent, respectively. While 83 percent of the KEYTRUDA group showed treatment response for two years or more, 35 percent of the chemo group did so.

Professor Thierry Andre of Sorbonne University in Paris, who made the presentation, said patients with MSI-H account for about 5 percent of all metastatic colorectal cancer patients.