Breast Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

SABCS 2020: Pembrolizumab Plus Chemotherapy in Metastatic Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

By: Vanessa A. Carter, BS
Posted: Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Hope S. Rugo, MD, of the University of California San Francisco Comprehensive Cancer Center, and colleagues presented their progression-free survival analysis of the KEYNOTE-355 study at the 2020 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS; Abstract GS3-01). These researchers discovered that pembrolizumab, when combined with various chemotherapies, demonstrated an increased progression-free survival compared with each chemotherapy alone.

“In subgroup analysis, progression-free survival with pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy compared to placebo plus chemotherapy in patients with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer was improved regardless of chemotherapy partner,” concluded the researchers. “These data further support the potential of pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy as a first-line treatment option for metastatic triple-negative breast cancer.”

A total of 847 patients with measurable disease were randomly assigned 2:1 into groups for pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy or a placebo plus chemotherapy. The chemotherapy regimen included either 100 mg/m2 of nab-paclitaxel on days 1, 8, and 15 every 28 days; 90 mg/m2 of paclitaxel on days 1, 8, and 15 every 28 days; or 1,000 mg/m2 of gemcitabine plus carboplatin AUC days 1 and 8 every 21 days.

The median follow-up for the pembrolizumab group versus the placebo group was 25.9 months versus 26.3 months, respectively. The median progression-free survival and duration of response for pembrolizumab plus chemotherapy versus placebo plus chemotherapy were 7.5 months and 10.1 months, versus 5.6 months and 6.4 months, respectively. Progression-free survival with pembrolizumab and either nab-paclitaxel, paclitaxel, or gemcitabine-carboplatin were 7.5, 8.0, and 7.4 months, respectively, versus 5.4, 3.8, and 7.4 months, respectively, compared with chemotherapy alone. Overall response rates and disease control rates were 41.0% versus 35.9% and 56.0% versus 51.6%, respectively.

Disclosure: For full disclosures of study authors, visit

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