Personalized dosing of pembrolizumab has the potential to save $0.8 billion per year

Dr Daniel A. Goldstein, MD, from the Davidoff Cancer Center, Israel, describes his investigation into the cost of pembrolizumab dosing in lung cancer patients. Pembrolizumab was developed by MSD and has shown to be effective in lung cancer patients; however, immunotherapeutic agents like pembrolizumab are very expensive. Dr Goldstein noticed that in clinical trials of pembrolizumab a variety of dosing schedules were incorporated; in fact, often lower doses did not result in decreased efficacy. Here, he tells us about his study, published during ASCO 2017 in JNCI (tinyurl.com/y9as9q76 ), which outlines how we could save approximately $0.8bn USD per year by personalising doses of pembrolizumab rather than using the fixed dosing regimen enforced by MSD.

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