UK – NICE recommends Keytruda for colorectal cancer patients with rare mutations

The UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended Keytruda for NHS use as a first-line treatment for colorectal cancer patients with rare mutations.

The draft guidance recommends Merck & Co’s – known as MSD outside the US and Canada – Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for the treatment of patients with previously untreated metastatic colorectal cancers with high levels of microsatellite instability (MSI-H) or DNA mismatch repair deficiency (dMMR).

In the phase 3 KEYNOTE-177 trial, Keytruda was found to slow or halt progression of metastatic MSI-H/dMMR colorectal cancers for a median of 16.5 months versus 8.2 months for chemotherapy.

In addition, 48.3% of patients receiving Keytruda lived 24 or months without their cancer progressing, compared with 18.6% in the chemotherapy group…