This page contains brief information about pembrolizumab and a collection of links to more information about the use of this drug, research results, and ongoing clinical trials.
Use in Cancer
Pembrolizumab is approved to treat:
- Melanoma that cannot be removed by surgery or that has metastasized (spread to other parts of the body).
- Non-small cell lung cancer that has metastasized. It is used in patients whose cancer has the PD-L1 protein and whose disease got worse during or after treatment with platinum chemotherapy. Patients whose cancer has certain gene mutations should receive pembrolizumab only if their disease got worse after treatment with FDA-approved therapy for the gene mutations.
- Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck that has metastasized or recurred (come back) in patients whose disease got worse during or after treatment with platinum chemotherapy.
Pembrolizumab is also being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer.
More About Pembrolizumab
Definition from the NCI Drug Dictionary - Detailed scientific definition and other names for this drug.
MedlinePlus Information on Pembrolizumab - A lay language summary of important information about this drug that may include the following:
- warnings about this drug,
- what this drug is used for and how it is used,
- what you should tell your doctor before using this drug,
- what you should know about this drug before using it,
- other drugs that may interact with this drug, and
- possible side effects.
Drugs are often studied to find out if they can help treat or prevent conditions other than the ones they are approved for. This patient information sheet applies only to approved uses of the drug. However, much of the information may also apply to unapproved uses that are being studied.
Pembrolizumab Shows Promise in Patients with Rare Form of Skin Cancer - Information from NCI about this drug.
Lung Cancer Precision Medicine Trials: Adapting to Progress - Information from NCI about this drug.
The Playing Field for Cancer Checkpoint Inhibitors Is Expanding - Information from NCI about this drug.
Trial Yields Positive Data on Pembrolizumab for Lung Cancer, Potential Response Biomarker - Information from NCI about this drug.
New Therapies Are Changing the Outlook for Advanced Melanoma - Information from NCI about this drug.
Targeted Cancer Therapies - Information about the use of this drug to treat cancer.
Clinical Trial Results: Pembrolizumab Improves Progression-Free Survival in Patients with Ipilimumab-Resistant Melanoma - Important clinical trial results for this drug, background information, and how the trial was done.
Clinical Trial Results: Pembrolizumab Improves Overall Survival in Patients with Advanced Melanoma - Important clinical trial results for this drug, background information, and how the trial was done.
Clinical Trials Accepting Patients
Find Clinical Trials for Pembrolizumab - Check for trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials now accepting patients.