ONCAlert | Upfront Therapy for mRCC

Microsatellite Instability Serves as a Predictive Biomarker of Response to Pembrolizumab

Joseph Chao, MD
Published Online: 10:31 PM, Sat January 25, 2020


Joseph Chao, MD, assistant professor of Medical Oncology Research at the City of Hope, discusses the importance of assessing the microsatellite instability (MSI) status in patients with advanced gastric/gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer based on findings from a comparative analysis of KEYNOTE-059, KEYNOTE-061, and KEYNOTE-062.

The prognosis for patients with stage IV gastric/GEJ cancer is fairly poor, Chao says. With the current treatment landscape, however, patients with MSI-high disease who receive treatment with a PD-1 inhibitor, such as pembrolizumab (Keytruda), have a vastly improved prognosis.

Based on the data from this analysis, which Chao presented at the 2020 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Gastrointestinal (GI) Cancers Symposium, MSI-high patients who do not receive PD-1 inhibition therapy have a fairly poor prognosis. Therefore, it is important to look for MSI status as a predictive biomarker for treatment with pembrolizumab.

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