Further Research Required to Find Biomarkers for Urothelial Cancer

November 20, 2020
Petros Grivas, MD, PhD
Petros Grivas, MD, PhD

Petros Grivas, MD, PhD, discusses the phase 3 KEYNOTE-045 trial and the association between gene expression signatures and pembrolizumab in patients with advanced urothelial cancer.

Petros Grivas, MD, PhD, physician, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance; associate professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Oncology, and clinical director, Genitourinary Cancers Program, University of Washington School of Medicine; and associate member, Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, discusses the phase 3 KEYNOTE-045 trial and the association between gene expression signatures and pembrolizumab (Keytruda) in patients with advanced urothelial cancer.

All the patients receiving pembrolizumab on the KEYNOTE-045 trial appeared to benefit in terms of progression-free survival and overall survival, according to Grivas. There are no biomarkers with clinical utility that can guide selection of which patients should get pembrolizumab or not, based on the data presented the 2020 European Society for Medical Oncology. Therefore, these data show no impact on practice when using pembrolizumab to treat patients with platinum-refractory disease.

Grivas says that the utilization of pembrolizumab based on potential biomarkers needs to be researched further to evaluate the clinical advantage of gene expression signatures. At the moment, patients with platinum-refractory advanced urothelial cancer are all treated able to be treated with pembrolizumab.