Thierry André, MD, on Interim Results from the Phase III Keynote-177 Study


The findings, presented at the 2020 ASCO Virtual Scientific Program, are the first to show benefit with pembrolizumab in patients with advanced colorectal cancer when used as a front-line therapy.

Results from an interim analysis of the randomized, open-label phase III KEYNOTE-177 study indicated that front-line therapy with the immune checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab (Keytruda) doubled progression-free survival (PFS) compared to chemotherapy in patients with advanced colorectal cancer.

The findings, presented at the 2020 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Virtual Scientific Program, are the first to show benefit with pembrolizumab in this patient population when used as a front-line therapy. 

Thierry André, MD, of the Sorbonne Université and Hôpital Saint Antoine in Paris, spoke with CancerNetwork® about the implications of the study and how these long awaited trial results could alter the current standard of care.


For me, it’s a good way to deal with the patients. Because it’s not to give a product for a large population and to obtain the benefit for little parts of the patients. It’s to select the good population by biomarker. And by this selection, it’s not a lot of patients, but it’s 5% of metastatic colorectal cancer. It’s more than a thousand patients in the US are, probably in France closer to one thousand… by year, but it’s a way to give the good therapy to the good patient to obtain results. And it’s amazing results because these patients, some maybe will be cured and it’s the first time we can cure the metastatic patient by a therapy, a type of new therapy. It’s really new, it’s too early to tell if some patients are cured but it’s really a hope and I am convinced some patients are cured. 

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