The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved an immunotherapy drug for Lung Cancer Treatment. Keytruda (pembrolizumab) can be used to treat advanced non-small cell lung cancer in patients whose disease has progressed after previous treatments and who have tumors that express a protein called PD-L1, the agency said.
“Today’s approval of new drug gives physicians the ability to target specific patients who may be most likely to benefit from this drug,” Dr. Richard Pazdur, director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in an agency news release. Lung Cancer Treatment The Merck & Co. drug was approved for use with a companion diagnostic test that is the first designed to detect PD-L1 expression in non-small cell lung tumors, the FDA said in the news release.By blocking what is called the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway, Keytruda may help the immune system fight lung cancer cells. In 2014, the FDA approved Keytruda to treat patients with advanced melanoma following Lung Cancer Treatment with Yervoy (ipilimumab), another type of immunotherapy.