John Kuruvilla, MD, on Next Steps for the Phase 3 KEYNOTE-204 Study


The expert in hematology discussed the next steps for the trial and what the goals are for the use of pembrolizumab in this patient population moving forward.

Results from the randomized, open-label, phase 3 KEYNOTE-204 study, presented at the 2020 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Virtual Scientific Program, indicated that pembrolizumab (Keytruda) was superior to brentuximab vedotin (Adcetris) in patients with relapsed or refractory classic Hodgkin lymphoma.

In an interview with CancerNetwork®, John Kuruvilla, MD, of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, discussed the next steps for the trial and what the goals are for the use of pembrolizumab in this patient population moving forward. 


Yeah, so KEYNOTE-204 was designed as the confirmatory phase III trial for pembrolizumab in Hodgkin's lymphoma. We have seen the activity of checkpoint inhibitors, so this includes both nivolumab, the BMS product, as well as pembrolizumab, the Merck product, in these patients that were relapsed/refractory. The goal, much like with brentuximab has been to try and move these treatments earlier, more into the curative setting, either in pre-transplant regimens to try and improve on efficacy and toxicity in that population, as well as ultimately trying to get this into the frontline setting as well. And so, both products, and certainly brentuximab as well, are, you know, now have frontline studies, and hopefully that's the goal of where this will go in the future.

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