PROGRAMMED DEATH RECEPTOR-1 (PD-1) BLOCKING ANTIBODY
Keytruda is a prescription drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat people with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). Keytruda is indicated to treat early-stage, high-risk TNBC along with chemotherapy before surgery and can be continued alone after surgery. Keytruda is also recommended for use alongside chemotherapy in individuals with locally recurrent or metastatic TNBC. This applies to those for whom surgery is not recommended, especially if their cancer cells test positive for the protein programmed death receptor-1 (PD-1). Keytruda may be referred to by its drug name, pembrolizumab.
Keytruda, belonging to a class of drugs known as PD-1-blocking antibodies, is used as an immunotherapy for breast cancer. This genetically engineered antibody is designed to bind with PD-1, a protein that helps cancer cells avoid the immune system. By doing so, Keytruda is believed to enable the immune system to identify and destroy cancer cells.
How do I take it?
Prescribing information states that Keytruda is administered intravenously every three weeks or every six weeks — it should be taken exactly as prescribed by the physician.
Keytruda comes in the form of a single-dose vial.
The FDA-approved label for Keytruda (when used alone) lists common side effects including fatigue, muscle and joint pain, rash, diarrhea, fever, cough, loss of appetite, itching, trouble breathing, constipation, pain, abdominal pain, and lower levels of thyroid hormones.
Rare but serious side effects listed for Keytruda include potentially fatal immune system reactions, infusion-related reactions, and fetal harm if used during pregnancy.
For more details about this treatment, visit:
Keytruda — Merck
Keytruda — RxList