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J Cancer Res Ther. 2019;15(4):743-750. doi: 10.4103/jcrt.JCRT_903_18.

Pembrolizumab for the treatment of nonsmall cell lung cancer: Current status and future directions.

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Department of Oncology, The Second Clinical Medical College, Jingzhou Central Hospital, Yangtze University, Jingzhou, Hubei 434020, China.
Department of Radiation Oncology (Chest Section), Shandong Cancer Hospital and Institute, Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong 250117, China.


The development of inhibitors of immune checkpoints has revolutionized the treatment for a subset of patients with advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC), resulting in promising clinical outcomes and durable responses. Pembrolizumab, a humanized anti-programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) antibody, has been approved as a first-line treatment for patients with advanced NSCLC with PD-L1 expression of ≥50% and as a second-line treatment for PD-L1 expression of ≥1%. Pembrolizumab in combination with standard chemotherapy has shown better clinical outcomes than chemotherapy as a first-line therapy in patients with advanced NSCLC without targetable mutations, regardless of PD-L1 expression. In this review, we summarized the current indications of pembrolizumab for NSCLC, briefly described immune-relevant pneumonitis and discussed potential biomarkers to predict clinical efficacy.


Immune checkpoint inhibitor; nonsmall cell lung cancer; pembrolizumab; programmed cell death-1

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