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Pembrolizumab (Keytruda™)

Last Updated: 02/15/18

Status: Not In Trial or Use for NF2

1374853-91-4, D10574, HSDB 8257, Immunoglobulin G4,
Keytruda, Lambrolizumab, Merck 3475, MK 3475,
Pembrolizumab, Sch 900475, MK-3475, Lambrolizumab, and UNII-DPT0O3T46P
Administered By" Intravenous (IV) or Port
Tumor Target: Intracranial Schwannoma
Protein Target: PD-1 inhibitor
(Programmed Cell Death) Protein PDCD1 gene
Formula: C6534H10004N1716O2036S46

Pembrolizumab (Keytruda™) is an innovative new treatment approved by the FDA that could change everything for treatments of all tumor conditions.

PD-1 (programmed death-1 or programmed cell death-1), attacks tumor cells by way of immune checkpoint inhibitory and antineoplastic activities.[ChemDplus]

Treatments and Trials

Pembrolizumab has been found effective for; 1) Melanoma (Skin Cancer), 2) Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC), and 3) a certain type of head and neck cancer. Currently only recommended after tumor cell recurrence despite other treatments.[Drugbank, MedPlus]

Trial: NCT02691026 Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumor (MPNST), Not Eligible for Curative Surgery

Having helped people late stages of Cancers, Pembrolizumab did so well it is in trial for about everything. Some of the things it is or has been in trial for include:

  • Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumour (MPNST)
  • Locally Advanced or Metastatic Solid Tumors
  • Head and Neck Cancer
  • Glioma and Recurrent Malignant Glioma
  • Solid Tumor and Advanced Solid Tumors
  • Advanced Cancer
  • Small Cell Lung Cancer, Non-small Cell Lung Cancer, Lung Cancer Metastatic
  • Carcinoma
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell
  • Cancer of the Head and Neck
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms
  • Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma
  • Esophageal Cancer
  • Squamous Cell Esophagus Cancer
  • Adenocarcinoma Esophagus
  • Malignant Neoplasms of Digestive Organs
  • Advanced Liver Cancer
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Advanced Cholangiocarcinoma
  • NSCLC Stage IV
  • Adenocarcinoma of Lung
  • Triple Negative Breast Cancer
  • Inflammatory Breast Cancer Stage IV
  • Melanoma - Melanoma Recurrent, Malignant Melanoma, Smoldering Multiple Myeloma, and Multiple Myeloma
  • Hepatocellular Carcinoma
  • Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer
  • Anal Cancer
  • Penile Squamous Cell Carcinoma
  • Squamous Cell Cancer of Head and Neck
  • Triple Negative Breast Cancer
  • Epithelial Ovarian Cancer
  • Neuroendocrine Tumors
  • Acute Myeloid Leukemia, in Relapse
  • Oral Pre-Malignant Lesion(s)
  • Intra-epithelial Neoplasias
  • History of Invasive Oral Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Advanced Gastrointestinal Cancer
  • Malignant Neoplasms of Digestive Organs
  • Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Thoracic Tumours
  • Relapsed or Refractory Solid Tumors
  • Nonsmall Cell Lung Cancer
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Lymphoma
  • Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • B-cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Acute Myeloid Leukemia
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes

Side Effects

  • Chills
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling Faint
  • Fever
  • Flushing
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Rash
  • Shaking
  • Shortness Of Breath


  1. American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). "Mismatch-repair deficiency predicts response of solid tumors to PD-1 blockade" (June 8, 2017) http://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2017/06/07/science.aan6733
  2. New York Times. Health. "Cancer Drug Proves to Be Effective Against Multiple Tumors" (June 8, 2017) https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/08/health/cancer-drug-keytruda-tumors.html
  3. Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. "What is the Science of PD-1 and Immunotherapy?" (May 24, 2017) http://blog.dana-farber.org/insight/2015/05/the-science-of-pd-1-and-immunotherapy/
  4. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Science Daily. "Flaws in a tumor's genetic mending kit drive treatment response to immunotherapy" (June 9, 2017) https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170609120359.htm
  5. Drugbank. "Pembrolizumab" https://www.drugbank.ca/drugs/DB09037
  6. Food and Drug Administration. "Pembrolizumab" https://fdasis.nlm.nih.gov/srs/unii/DPT0O3T46P
  7. NIH. ChemIDplus. "Substance Name: Pembrolizumab [USAN:INN]" https://chem.nlm.nih.gov/chemidplus/unii/DPT0O3T46P
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