FDA expands Merck drug's approval to treat lung cancer
Washington: Federal health officials on Friday expanded approval of an innovative Merck drug to treat patients with an advanced form of the most common lung cancer. The Food and Drug Administration approved Keytruda for advanced non-small cell lung cancer patients who have seen their tumors spread after taking other therapies. The disease accounts for roughly seven out of eight cases of lung cancer in the U.S. Regulators previously approved Keytruda in 2014 to treat melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.
Keytruda is part of a promising new class of drugs called immunotherapy, which harness the body's immune system to help fight cancer. Merck's injectable biotech drug works by blocking a protein found in certain tumours called PD-1, which inhibits the body's natural response to cancer cells.