Keytruda RECEIVES FDA APPROVAL for the Treatment of Refractory Relapsed Primary Mediastinal Large B-Cell Lymphoma in Adult and Pediatric Patients

FDA Approved for the Treatment of Refractory or Relapsed Primary Mediastinal Large B-Cell Lymphoma in Adult and Pediatric Patients

Merck is pleased to announce that KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) is indicated for the treatment of adult and pediatric patients with refractory primary mediastinal large B-cell lymphoma (PMBCL), or who have relapsed after 2 or more prior lines of therapy. This indication is approved under accelerated approval based on tumor response rate and durability of response. Continued approval for this indication may be contingent upon verification and description of clinical benefit in confirmatory trials. KEYTRUDA is not recommended for treatment of patients with PMBCL who require urgent cytoreductive therapy.

PD-L1 diagnostic testing is not required prior to initiating treatment with KEYTRUDA in PMBCL.

FDA=Food and Drug Administration; PD-L1=programmed death ligand 1.

 

Selected Safety Information

Immune-mediated adverse reactions occurred with KEYTRUDA, including pneumonitis, colitis, hepatitis, endocrinopathies, nephritis, severe skin reactions, and solid organ transplant rejection. Based on the severity of the adverse reaction, KEYTRUDA should be withheld or discontinued and corticosteroids administered if appropriate. Immune-mediated complications, including fatal events, occurred in patients with cHL who underwent allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) after treatment with KEYTRUDA. Follow patients closely for early evidence of transplant-related complications, and intervene promptly. In patients with a history of allogeneic HSCT, acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), including fatal GVHD, has been reported after treatment with KEYTRUDA; consider the benefit of KEYTRUDA vs the risk of GVHD. For more information regarding immune-mediated adverse reactions, please read the additional Selected Safety Information below.

Recommended Adult and Pediatric Dosing in Refractory or Relapsed PMBCL

The recommended dose of KEYTRUDA in adults with PMBCL is 200 mg administered as an intravenous infusion over 30 minutes every 3 weeks until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity, or up to 24 months in patients without disease progression.

The recommended dose of KEYTRUDA in pediatric patients with PMBCL is 2 mg/kg (up to a maximum of 200 mg) administered as an intravenous infusion over 30 minutes every 3 weeks until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity, or up to 24 months in patients without disease progression.

KEYNOTE-170

The efficacy of KEYTRUDA was investigated in 53 patients with relapsed or refractory PMBCL enrolled in a multicenter, open-label, single-arm trial (Study KEYNOTE-170; NCT02576990). Patients were not eligible if they had active non-infectious pneumonitis, allogeneic HSCT within the past 5 years (or greater than 5 years but with symptoms of GVHD), active autoimmune disease, a medical condition that required immunosuppression, or an active infection requiring systemic therapy. The patients were treated with KEYTRUDA 200 mg intravenously every 3 weeks until unacceptable toxicity or documented disease progression, or for up to 24 months for patients who did not progress. Disease assessments were performed every 12 weeks and assessed by blinded independent central review according to the 2007 revised International Working Group (IWG) criteria.

Among the 53 patients accrued, the baseline characteristics were: median age 33 years (range: 20 to 61 years), 43% male; 92% White; 43% had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status (PS) of 0 and 57% had an ECOG PS of 1. The median number of prior lines of therapy administered for the treatment of PMBCL was 3 (range 2 to 8). Thirty-six percent had primary refractory disease, 49% had relapsed disease refractory to the last prior therapy, and 15% had untreated relapse. Twenty-six percent of patients had undergone prior autologous HSCT, and 32% of patients had prior radiation therapy. All patients had received rituximab as part of a prior line of therapy.

Efficacy was based on overall response rate (ORR) and duration of response. The efficacy results for KEYNOTE-170 are summarized below. For the 24 responders, the median time to first objective response (complete or partial response) was 2.8 months (range 2.1 to 8.5 months).

Efficacy Results in KEYNOTE-170

Endpoint KEYNOTE-170*
  N=53
Overall Response Rate
ORR (95% CI) 45% (32, 60)
Complete response 11%
Partial response 34%
Response Duration
Median in months (range) NR (1.1+, 19.2+)

*Median follow-up time of 9.7 months
Based on patients (n=24) with a response by independent review
NR=not reached

There is limited experience with KEYTRUDA in pediatric patients. In a study, 40 pediatric patients (16 children ages 2 years to less than 12 years and 24 adolescents ages 12 years to 18 years) with advanced melanoma, lymphoma, or PD-L1 positive advanced, relapsed, or refractory solid tumors were administered KEYTRUDA 2 mg/kg every 3 weeks. Patients received KEYTRUDA for a median of 3 doses (range: 1–17 doses), with 34 patients (85%) receiving KEYTRUDA for 2 doses or more. The concentrations of pembrolizumab in pediatric patients were comparable to those observed in adult patients at the same dose regimen of 2 mg/kg every 3 weeks.

The safety profile in these pediatric patients was similar to that seen in adults treated with pembrolizumab; toxicities that occurred at a higher rate (≥15% difference) in pediatric patients when compared to adults under 65 years of age were fatigue (45%), vomiting (38%), abdominal pain (28%), hypertransaminasemia (28%) and hyponatremia (18%).

Efficacy for pediatric patients with PMBCL is extrapolated from the results in the adult population.

Selected Safety Information (continued)

KEYTRUDA can cause immune-mediated pneumonitis, including fatal cases. Pneumonitis occurred in 94 (3.4%) of 2799 patients receiving KEYTRUDA, including Grade 1 (0.8%), 2 (1.3%), 3 (0.9%), 4 (0.3%), and 5 (0.1%) pneumonitis, and occurred more frequently in patients with a history of prior thoracic radiation (6.9%) compared to those without (2.9%). Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of pneumonitis. Evaluate suspected pneumonitis with radiographic imaging. Administer corticosteroids for Grade 2 or greater pneumonitis. Withhold KEYTRUDA for Grade 2; permanently discontinue KEYTRUDA for Grade 3 or 4 or recurrent Grade 2 pneumonitis.
KEYTRUDA can cause immune-mediated colitis. Colitis occurred in 48 (1.7%) of 2799 patients receiving KEYTRUDA, including Grade 2 (0.4%), 3 (1.1%), and 4 (<0.1%) colitis. Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of colitis. Administer corticosteroids for Grade 2 or greater colitis. Withhold KEYTRUDA for Grade 2 or 3; permanently discontinue KEYTRUDA for Grade 4 colitis.
KEYTRUDA can cause immune-mediated hepatitis. Hepatitis occurred in 19 (0.7%) of 2799 patients receiving KEYTRUDA, including Grade 2 (0.1%), 3 (0.4%), and 4 (<0.1%) hepatitis. Monitor patients for changes in liver function. Administer corticosteroids for Grade 2 or greater hepatitis and, based on severity of liver enzyme elevations, withhold or discontinue KEYTRUDA.
KEYTRUDA can cause hypophysitis. Hypophysitis occurred in 17 (0.6%) of 2799 patients receiving KEYTRUDA, including Grade 2 (0.2%), 3 (0.3%), and 4 (<0.1%) hypophysitis. Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of hypophysitis (including hypopituitarism and adrenal insufficiency). Administer corticosteroids and hormone replacement as clinically indicated. Withhold KEYTRUDA for Grade 2; withhold or discontinue for Grade 3 or 4 hypophysitis.
KEYTRUDA can cause thyroid disorders, including hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, and thyroiditis. Hyperthyroidism occurred in 96 (3.4%) of 2799 patients receiving KEYTRUDA, including Grade 2 (0.8%) and 3 (0.1%) hyperthyroidism. Hypothyroidism occurred in 237 (8.5%) of 2799 patients receiving KEYTRUDA, including Grade 2 (6.2%) and 3 (0.1%) hypothyroidism. Thyroiditis occurred in 16 (0.6%) of 2799 patients receiving KEYTRUDA, including Grade 2 (0.3%) thyroiditis. Monitor patients for changes in thyroid function (at the start of treatment, periodically during treatment, and as indicated based on clinical evaluation) and for clinical signs and symptoms of thyroid disorders. Administer replacement hormones for hypothyroidism and manage hyperthyroidism with thionamides and beta-blockers as appropriate. Withhold or discontinue KEYTRUDA for Grade 3 or 4 hyperthyroidism.
KEYTRUDA can cause type 1 diabetes mellitus, including diabetic ketoacidosis, which have been reported in 6 (0.2%) of 2799 patients. Monitor patients for hyperglycemia or other signs and symptoms of diabetes. Administer insulin for type 1 diabetes, and withhold KEYTRUDA and administer antihyperglycemics in patients with severe hyperglycemia.
KEYTRUDA can cause immune-mediated nephritis. Nephritis occurred in 9 (0.3%) of 2799 patients receiving KEYTRUDA, including Grade 2 (0.1%), 3 (0.1%), and 4 (<0.1%) nephritis. Monitor patients for changes in renal function. Administer corticosteroids for Grade 2 or greater nephritis. Withhold KEYTRUDA for Grade 2; permanently discontinue KEYTRUDA for Grade 3 or 4 nephritis.
Immune-mediated rashes, including Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) (some cases with fatal outcome), exfoliative dermatitis, and bullous pemphigoid, can occur. Monitor patients for suspected severe skin reactions and based on the severity of the adverse reaction, withhold or permanently discontinue KEYTRUDA and administer corticosteroids. For signs or symptoms of SJS or TEN, withhold KEYTRUDA and refer the patient for specialized care for assessment and treatment. If SJS or TEN is confirmed, permanently discontinue KEYTRUDA.
Immune-mediated adverse reactions, which may be severe or fatal, can occur in any organ system or tissue in patients receiving KEYTRUDA. While immune-mediated adverse reactions usually occur during treatment with programmed death receptor-1 (PD-1)/PD-L1 blocking antibodies, they may occur after discontinuation of treatment. For suspected immune-mediated adverse reactions, ensure adequate evaluation to confirm etiology or exclude other causes. Based on the severity of the adverse reaction, withhold KEYTRUDA and administer corticosteroids. Upon improvement to Grade 1 or less, initiate corticosteroid taper and continue to taper over at least 1 month. Based on limited data from clinical studies in patients whose immune-related adverse reactions could not be controlled with corticosteroid use, administration of other systemic immunosuppressants can be considered. Resume KEYTRUDA when the adverse reaction remains at Grade 1 or less following corticosteroid taper. Permanently discontinue KEYTRUDA for any Grade 3 immune-mediated adverse reaction that recurs and for any life-threatening immune-mediated adverse reaction.
The following clinically significant immune-mediated adverse reactions occurred in less than 1% (unless otherwise indicated) of 2799 patients: arthritis (1.5%), uveitis, myositis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, myasthenia gravis, vasculitis, pancreatitis, hemolytic anemia, sarcoidosis, and encephalitis. In addition, myelitis and myocarditis were reported in other clinical trials, including classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL), and postmarketing use.
Solid organ transplant rejection has been reported in postmarketing use of KEYTRUDA. Treatment with KEYTRUDA may increase the risk of rejection in solid organ transplant recipients. Consider the benefit of treatment with KEYTRUDA vs the risk of possible organ rejection in these patients.
KEYTRUDA can cause severe or life-threatening infusion-related reactions, including hypersensitivity and anaphylaxis, which have been reported in 6 (0.2%) of 2799 patients. Monitor patients for signs and symptoms of infusion-related reactions, including rigors, chills, wheezing, pruritus, flushing, rash, hypotension, hypoxemia, and fever. For Grade 3 or 4 reactions, stop infusion and permanently discontinue KEYTRUDA.
Immune-mediated complications, including fatal events, occurred in patients who underwent allogeneic HSCT after treatment with KEYTRUDA. Of 23 patients with cHL who proceeded to allogeneic HSCT after KEYTRUDA, 6 developed GVHD (one fatal case) and 2 developed severe hepatic veno-occlusive disease (VOD) after reduced-intensity conditioning (one fatal case). Cases of fatal hyperacute GVHD after allogeneic HSCT have also been reported in patients with lymphoma who received a PD-1 receptor–blocking antibody before transplantation. Follow patients closely for early evidence of transplant-related complications such as hyperacute GVHD, Grade 3 to 4 acute GVHD, steroid-requiring febrile syndrome, hepatic VOD, and other immune-mediated adverse reactions, and intervene promptly.
In patients with a history of allogeneic HSCT, acute GVHD, including fatal GVHD, has been reported after treatment with KEYTRUDA. Patients who experienced GVHD after their transplant procedure may be at increased risk for GVHD after KEYTRUDA. Consider the benefit of KEYTRUDA vs the risk of GVHD in these patients.
In clinical trials in patients with multiple myeloma, the addition of KEYTRUDA to a thalidomide analogue plus dexamethasone resulted in increased mortality. Treatment of these patients with a PD-1 or PD-L1 blocking antibody in this combination is not recommended outside of controlled clinical trials.
Based on its mechanism of action, KEYTRUDA can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. If used during pregnancy, or if the patient becomes pregnant during treatment, apprise the patient of the potential hazard to a fetus. Advise females of reproductive potential to use highly effective contraception during treatment and for 4 months after the last dose of KEYTRUDA.
In KEYNOTE-170, KEYTRUDA was discontinued due to adverse reactions in 8% of 53 patients with PMBCL, and treatment was interrupted due to adverse reactions in 15%. Twenty-five percent (25%) of patients had an adverse reaction requiring systemic corticosteroid therapy. Serious adverse reactions occurred in 26% of patients and included: arrhythmia (4%), cardiac tamponade (2%), myocardial infarction (2%), pericardial effusion (2%), and pericarditis (2%). Six (11%) patients died within 30 days of start of treatment. The most common adverse reactions (occurring in ≥20% of patients) were musculoskeletal pain (30%), upper respiratory tract infection and pyrexia (28% each), cough (26%), fatigue (23%), and dyspnea (21%).
It is not known whether KEYTRUDA is excreted in human milk. Because many drugs are excreted in human milk, instruct women to discontinue nursing during treatment with KEYTRUDA and for 4 months after the final dose.
There is limited experience in pediatric patients. In a study, 40 pediatric patients (16 children aged 2 years to younger than 12 years and 24 adolescents aged 12 years to 18 years) with advanced melanoma, lymphoma, or PD-L1–positive advanced, relapsed, or refractory solid tumors were administered KEYTRUDA 2 mg/kg every 3 weeks. Patients received KEYTRUDA for a median of 3 doses (range 1–17 doses), with 34 patients (85%) receiving KEYTRUDA for 2 doses or more. The safety profile in these pediatric patients was similar to that seen in adults treated with KEYTRUDA. Toxicities that occurred at a higher rate (≥15% difference) in these patients when compared to adults under 65 years of age were fatigue (45%), vomiting (38%), abdominal pain (28%), hypertransaminasemia (28%), and hyponatremia (18%).

Before prescribing KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab), please read the Prescribing Information.
The Medication Guide also is available.

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