In May 2017 the FDA granted accelerated approval to an immunotherapy cancer treatment for patients whose cancers have a specific genetic feature (biomarker). This approval marked the first time the FDA approved a cancer treatment based on a common biomarker rather than the location in the body where the tumor originated.
Keytruda is a cancer immunotherapy drug, which works with a cancer patients immune system to help fight cancer. It is not a chemotherapy or radiation therapy. This cancer fighting immunotherapy works on specific types of cancers, including melanoma (skin cancer), a type of lung cancer called non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), classical Hodgkins lymphoma, head and neck squamous cell cancer, advanced urothelial bladder cancer, and microsatellite instability-high (MSI‑H) cancers. The latest FDA approval is on Keytruda is specifically for the MSI-H or dMMR genetic marker. Read more