Skip to main content

A Study of Pembrolizumab (MK-3475) in Pediatric Participants With an Advanced Solid Tumor or Lymphoma (MK-3475-051 / KEYNOTE-051)

Trial Status: Active

This is a two-part study of pembrolizumab (MK-3475) in pediatric participants who have any of the following types of cancer: - advanced melanoma (6 months to <18 years of age), - advanced, relapsed or refractory programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1)-positive malignant solid tumor or other lymphoma (6 months to <18 years of age), - relapsed or refractory classical Hodgkin lymphoma (rrcHL) (3 years to <18 years of age), or - advanced relapsed or refractory microsatellite-instability-high (MSI-H) solid tumors (6 months to <18 years of age), or - advanced relapsed or refractory tumor-mutational burden-high ≥10 mutation / Mb (TMB-H) solid tumors (6 months to <18 years of age) Part 1 will find the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) / maximum administered dose (MAD), confirm the dose, and find the recommended Phase 2 dose (RP2D) for pembrolizumab therapy. Part 2 will further evaluate the safety and efficacy at the pediatric RP2D. The primary hypothesis of this study is that intravenous (IV) administration of pembrolizumab to children with either advanced melanoma; a PD-L1 positive advanced, relapsed or refractory solid tumor or other lymphoma; advanced, relapsed or refractory MSI-H solid tumor; or rrcHL, will result in an Objective Response Rate (ORR) greater than 10% for at least one of these types of cancer. The 10% assessment does not apply to the MSI-H and TMB-H cohorts. With Amendment 8, enrollment of participants with solid tumors and of participants aged 6 months to <12 years with melanoma were closed. Enrollment of participants aged ≥12 years to ≤18 years with melanoma continues. Enrollment of participants with MSI-H and TMB-H solid tumors also continues.

Inclusion Criteria

  • Between 6 months and <18 years of age on day of signing informed consent is documented.
  • Histologically- or cytologically-documented, locally-advanced, or metastatic solid malignancy or lymphoma that is incurable and has failed prior standard therapy, or for which no standard therapy exists, or for which no standard therapy is considered appropriate
  • Any number of prior treatment regimens
  • Tissue (or lymph node biopsy for rrcHL participants) available from an archival tissue sample or, if appropriate, a newly obtained core or excisional biopsy of a tumor lesion not previously irradiated
  • Advanced melanoma or PD-L1-positive advanced, relapsed, or refractory solid tumor or lymphoma
  • Measurable disease based on RECIST 1.1 (Or based on IWG [Cheson, 2007] [i.e., measurement must be >15 mm in longest diameter or >10 mm in short axis] for rrcHL participants)
  • Participants with neuroblastoma with only metaiodobenzylguanidine (MIBG)-positive evaluable disease may be enrolled
  • Lansky Play Scale ≥50 for participants from 6 months up to and including 16 years of age; or Karnofsky score ≥50 for participants >16 years of age
  • Adequate organ function
  • Female participants of childbearing potential should have a negative urine or serum pregnancy test within 72 hours before the first dose of study medication
  • Female participant is not a woman of childbearing potential (WOCBP) or is a WOCBP who is abstinent from heterosexual intercourse or using contraception during the intervention period and for at least 120 days after the last dose of study intervention
  • Contraceptive use by men should be consistent with local regulations regarding the methods of contraception for those participating in clinical studies.
  • Demonstrate adequate organ function.

Exclusion Criteria

  • Currently participating and receiving study therapy in, or has participated in a study of an investigational agent and received study therapy or used an investigational device within 4 weeks of the date of allocation/randomization
  • Diagnosis of immunodeficiency or receiving systemic steroid therapy or any other form of immunosuppressive therapy within 7 days prior to the date of allocation/randomization
  • Prior systemic anti-cancer therapy including investigational agent within 2 weeks prior to study Day 1 or not recovered from adverse events due to a previously administered agent
  • Prior radiotherapy within 2 weeks of start of study treatment
  • Known additional malignancy that is progressing or requires active treatment with the exception of basal cell carcinoma of the skin, squamous cell carcinoma of the skin or carcinoma in situ (eg, breast carcinoma, cervical carcinoma in situ) with potentially curative therapy, or in situ cervical cancer
  • Known active central nervous system (CNS) metastases and/or carcinomatous meningitis
  • Tumor(s) involving the brain stem
  • Severe hypersensitivity (≥ Grade 3) to pembrolizumab and/or any of its excipients
  • Active autoimmune disease that has required systemic treatment in past 2 years; replacement therapy (such as thyroxine, insulin, or physiologic corticosteroid replacement therapy for adrenal or pituitary insufficiency) is acceptable
  • Has a history of (non-infectious) pneumonitis that required steroids or current pneumonitis.
  • Active infection requiring systemic therapy
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding, or expecting to conceive or father children within the projected duration of the trial through 120 days after the last dose of study medication
  • Prior therapy with an anti-programmed cell death (PD)-1, anti-PD-ligand 1 (anti-PD-L1), anti-PD-L2 agent, or any agent directed to another stimulatory or inhibitory T-cell receptor (eg, cytotoxic lymphocyte associated protein-4 [CTLA-4], OX-40, CD137)
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Hepatitis B or C
  • Known history of active tuberculosis (TB; Bacillus tuberculosis)
  • Received a live vaccine within 30 days of planned start of study medication
  • Has undergone solid organ transplant at any time, or prior allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation within the last 5 years. (Participants who have had an allogeneic hematopoietic transplant >5 years ago are eligible as long as there are no symptoms of Graft Versus Host Disease [GVHD].)
  • History or current evidence of any condition, therapy, or laboratory abnormality, or known severe hypersensitivity to any component or analog of the trial treatment, that might confound the results of the trial, or interfere with the participant's participation for the full duration of the study
  • Known psychiatric or substance abuse disorders that would interfere with the requirements of the study


Los Angeles
Children's Hospital Los Angeles
San Diego
University of California San Diego
San Francisco
UCSF Medical Center-Mount Zion
Contact: Elizabeth Pon
Phone: 415-476-0660


Children's Hospital Colorado
Status: ACTIVE
Contact: Margaret Ellen Macy
Phone: 720-777-6672


New Haven
Yale University


Children's Healthcare of Atlanta - Egleston
Contact: William Thomas Cash
Phone: 404-785-0919


Lurie Children's Hospital-Chicago
Status: ACTIVE
University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center
Status: ACTIVE


Indiana University / Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center
Status: ACTIVE
Contact: Anne Bubnick
Phone: 317-948-0101


Iowa City
University of Iowa / Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center


Boston Children's Hospital
Status: ACTIVE
Contact: Steven G. DuBois
Phone: 877-827-3222
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Status: ACTIVE
Contact: Steven G. DuBois
Phone: 877-827-3222


Ann Arbor
University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center
Status: ACTIVE


University of Minnesota / Masonic Cancer Center


Kansas City
Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics
Status: ACTIVE
Saint Louis
Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University
Status: ACTIVE
Washington University School of Medicine
Status: ACTIVE

New York

New York
NYP / Columbia University Medical Center / Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center
Status: ACTIVE


Case Comprehensive Cancer Center
Nationwide Children's Hospital
Status: ACTIVE


Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Status: ACTIVE


Saint Jude Children's Research Hospital
Status: ACTIVE
Contact: Alberto S. Pappo
Phone: 866-278-5833
Vanderbilt University / Ingram Cancer Center
Contact: Howard Mark Katzenstein
Phone: 800-811-8480


UT Southwestern / Simmons Cancer Center-Dallas
Status: ACTIVE
Texas Children's Hospital
Status: ACTIVE


Salt Lake City
Primary Children's Hospital
Status: ACTIVE


Seattle Children's Hospital
Status: ACTIVE

Trial Phase Phase I/II

Trial Type Treatment

Lead Organization
Merck and Company Inc

  • Primary ID 3475-051
  • Secondary IDs NCI-2015-00528, 2014-002950-38, MK-3475-051
  • ID NCT02332668