Study Adds Evidence That Flaws in a Tumor’s Genetic Mending Kit Drive Treatment Response to Immunotherapy Drugs

In an expanded, three-year clinical trial of 86 patients with colorectal and 11 other kinds of cancer that have so-called ‘mismatch repair’ genetic defects, scientists at Johns Hopkins Medicine and its Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy have found that half of the patients respond to an immunotherapy drug called pembrolizumab (Keytruda). In a report on the findings, which led the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve expanded use of pembrolizumab for patients, the researchers also say they found evidence that the immune responses closely aligned with mutations found in their cancers. The report is published online in the June 8 issue of the journal Science.


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