Oops, you're using an old version of your browser so some of the features on this page may not be displaying properly.

MINIMAL Requirements: Google Chrome 24+Mozilla Firefox 20+Internet Explorer 11Opera 15–18Apple Safari 7SeaMonkey 2.15-2.23

FDA Extends Approval of Pembrolizumab for Classical Hodgkin Lymphoma

Approval was based on KEYNOTE-204
20 Oct 2020
Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy;  Haematologic malignancies

On 14 October 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) extended the approval of pembrolizumab (KEYTRUDA®, Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp.) for the following indications:

  • adult patients with relapsed or refractory classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL), and
  • paediatric patients with refractory cHL, or cHL that has relapsed after 2 or more lines of therapy.

Approval was based on KEYNOTE-204 (NCT02684292), a phase III, randomised, open-label trial in 304 adult patients with relapsed or refractory cHL after at least one multiagent regimen. Patients were randomised (1:1) to receive either pembrolizumab 200 mg every 3 weeks or brentuximab vedotin (BV) 1.8 mg/kg every 3 weeks for up to 2 years.

Efficacy was based on progression-free survival (PFS) per blinded independent central review assessment. PFS was statistically significantly longer in the pembrolizumab arm. The median PFS was 13.2 months (95% confidence interval [CI] 10.9, 19.4) in the pembrolizumab arm and 8.3 months (95% CI 5.7, 8.8) in the BV arm, with a hazard ratio of 0.65 (95% CI 0.48, 0.88; p = 0.0027).

Serious adverse reactions occurred in 30% of the patients who received pembrolizumab. Serious adverse reactions in ≥1% of patients included pneumonitis, pneumonia, pyrexia, myocarditis, acute kidney injury, febrile neutropenia, and sepsis.

Adverse reactions in ≥20% of pembrolizumab recipients included upper respiratory tract infection, musculoskeletal pain, diarrhoea, cough, pyrexia, fatigue, and rash. Thirty-eight percent of patients had adverse reactions requiring systemic corticosteroids, including pneumonitis in 11%.

The recommended pembrolizumab dose for patients with lymphoma is 200 mg every 3 weeks or 400 mg every 6 weeks intravenously for adults, or 2 mg/kg (up to 200 mg) every 3 weeks intravenously for paediatric patients, for up to 2 years.

Full prescribing information for KEYTRUDA® is available here.

The FDA collaborated with the Australian Therapeutics Goods Administration (TGA) and Health Canada (HC) as part of Project Orbis. The review of the application is ongoing for the TGA and HC. This review used the Assessment Aid, a voluntary submission from the applicant to facilitate the FDA’s assessment.

This application was granted orphan drug designation, breakthrough therapy designation, and priority review.

Healthcare professionals should report all serious adverse events suspected to be associated with the use of any medicine and device to FDA’s MedWatch Reporting System.

For assistance with single-patient INDs for investigational oncology products, healthcare professionals may contact FDA’s Oncology Center of Excellence Project Facilitate.

This site uses cookies. Some of these cookies are essential, while others help us improve your experience by providing insights into how the site is being used.

For more detailed information on the cookies we use, please check our Privacy Policy.

Customise settings