Expert Point of View: Maria De Santis, MD


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Maria De Santis, MD

Maria De Santis, MD

THE 2017 EUROPEAN SOCIETY for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress spokesperson Maria De Santis, MD, of the University of Warwick, Coventry, and Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Cancer Center, in Birmingham, UK, said the survival advantage in KEYNOTE-045 updated results was noteworthy. 

“These results confirm the overall survival benefit of pembrolizumab (Keytruda) compared with chemotherapy in platinum-treated patients. This is particularly important, because the progression-free survival was not superior with pembrolizumab. The progression-free survival curve in this trial diverges late, but then, after 6 months, it was again in favor of pembrolizumab,” Dr. De Santis noted. 

“As progression-free survival does not seem to be a good surrogate endpoint with pembrolizumab, a confirmed, robust overall survival benefit, as shown in this updated analysis, becomes increasingly important. The robustness of the survival benefit is shown by the even better hazard ratio of 0.70 in this update compared with 0.73 at the interim analysis,” she added. 

“In light of the fact that urothelial cancer patients tend to be older with multiple comorbidities, the longer duration of response coupled with the favorable safety profile makes pembrolizumab an attractive option,” she said. ■

DISCLOSURE: Dr. De Santis reported no conflicts of interest. 


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