Keytruda is a prescription drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat cancers including classic Hodgkin lymphoma and primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma. Keytruda is indicated in cases where other drug therapies have previously been tried. Keytruda is also known by its drug name, pembrolizumab.
Keytruda is used in immunotherapy for cancer. Keytruda is a biologic drug — a genetically engineered protein, or antibody. Keytruda targets the PD-1 receptor on immune T-cells, prompting them to attack lymphoma cells.
How do I take it?
Keytruda is administered as an intravenous infusion once every three weeks.
Keytruda comes in the form of a single-dose vial.
The FDA-approved label for Keytruda lists common side effects including fever, fatigue, cough, pain, rash, itching, trouble breathing, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain.
Rare but serious side effects listed for Keytruda can include lung inflammation, gastrointestinal inflammation, liver inflammation, kidney inflammation, fetal harm in pregnant women, endocrine conditions such as hyperthyroidism or type 1 diabetes, life-threatening infusion reactions, and potentially fatal skin reactions known as Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis. Individuals taking Keytruda often require frequent testing to assess for liver, kidney, and thyroid damage. In people who have undergone allogeneic stem cell transplant or organ transplant, Keytruda can raise the risk for organ rejection or graft-versus-host disease.
For more details about this treatment, visit:
Keytruda — Merck
Immunotherapy for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma — American Cancer Society
Immunotherapy for Hodgkin Lymphoma — American Cancer Society