Keytruda Approved for Advanced Melanoma

Nearly 10,000 in U.S. expected to die this year from deadly skin cancer

THURSDAY, Sept. 4, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Keytruda (pembrolizumab) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat advanced melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer.

Melanoma, accounting for about 5 percent of new cancers in the United States, is expected to be diagnosed in more than 76,000 Americans and about 9,710 are projected to die from it this year, the FDA said in a news release.

Keytruda is the first in a new class of drugs designed to help the body's immune system attack melanoma cells. It's intended to treat people who are no longer responding to other drugs, the FDA said.

The drug was evaluated in a clinical trials involving about 600 people with advanced melanoma whose disease progressed despite treatment. The most common side effects included fatigue, cough, nausea, itchy skin and loss of appetite.

The agency also warned of possible severe immune reactions involving healthy organs including the lung, colon, hormone-producing glands and liver.

Keytruda is produced by Merck & Co., based in Whitehouse Station, N.J.

More information

The FDA has more about this approval ( ).

-- Scott Roberts

Please note, not all procedures included in this resource library are available at Henry Ford Allegiance Health or performed by Henry Ford Allegiance Health physicians.

All EBSCO Publishing proprietary, consumer health and medical information found on this site is accredited by URAC. URAC's Health Web Site Accreditation Program requires compliance with 53 rigorous standards of quality and accountability, verified by independent audits. To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

Editorial Policy | Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions | Support
Copyright © 2008 EBSCO Publishing. All rights reserved.

A headache diary can help you identify your headache triggers, and then you and your doctor can plan how to avoid them.