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:
- Hodgkin lymphoma in adults and children. It is used in patients whose disease is refractory (does not respond to treatment) or has relapsed after at least three other types of treatment.
- Melanoma that cannot be removed by surgery or that has metastasized (spread to other parts of the body).
- Non-small cell lung cancer that is metastatic and has the PD-L1 protein. It is used:
- As first line therapy in patients whose cancer does not have a mutation in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene or anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene.
- In patients whose disease got worse during or after treatment with platinum chemotherapy. Patients whose cancer has EGFR or ALK gene mutations should receive pembrolizumab only if their disease got worse after treatment with an FDA-approved therapy for these 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.
Research Results and Related Resources
Clinical Trials Accepting Patients
Find Clinical Trials for Pembrolizumab - Check for trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials now accepting patients.