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Merck & Co.'s Keytruda improves survival in lung cancer trial

Merck & Co. Inc. said Keytruda improved the survival of patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer in a phase 3 trial.

Updated overall survival findings from the phase 3 Keynote-024 trial showed that at 24 months, patients who received Keytruda had a 51.5% overall survival rate compared to 34.5% for those treated with chemotherapy.

The main goal of Keynote-024 is progression free survival, with overall survival as the key secondary goal.

Study results continued to show that Keytruda is better than chemotherapy as first-line single therapy, with a 37% reduction in the risk of death and a median overall survival of 30 months. In the study, chemotherapy-treated patients had median overall survival of 14.2 months.

More than 300 patients participated in the Keynote-024 study. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide, with non-small cell lung cancer as the most common type.