Interim results from a phase 3 clinical trial called KEYNOTE-564 have shown that pembrolizumab given after nephrectomy (adjuvant pembrolizumab) for intermediate to high risk renal cell carcinoma (RCC) prolonged disease-free survival compared with placebo. Adjuvant pembrolizumab also improved disease-free survival in patients who had surgery to remove metastases.
The study included 950 patients with renal cell carcinoma who intermediate-high risk or high-risk disease and who had surgery to remove their cancer. Patients were randomised to receive either pembrolizumab or placebo on day 1 of each 3-week cycle for up to 17 cycles. Safety results were consistent with previous studies with pembrolizumab.
The trial will continue until overall survival results are available.