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What is Keytruda?

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) is a medication approved for people who have advanced melanoma that can't be removed surgically and is no longer responding to other treatments. Keytruda works by blocking a certain process in cells that prevents the immune system from attacking melanoma cells. Keytruda is meant to be used after treatment with another drug, ipilimumab (Yervoy).

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave accelerated approval to Keytruda based on clinical trial results suggesting that the drug is an improvement on other therapies. In trials, 24% of patients had their tumors shrink while taking the drug, and the benefits lasted more than 8.5 months in most.

Keytruda is given as an intravenous (IV) infusion every three weeks until it no longer works or people develop side effects. In some cases, Keytruda can cause the immune system to attack normal organs and tissues in the body.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.