Yania Jansen, surgical trainee at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, in Brussels, Belgium, discusses the possibility of stopping treatment with Keytruda (pembrolizumab) for patients with melanoma.
When the patient is responding to Keytruda and there is no more evidence of progression, discontinuing treatment is a decision that must be made by the patient and physician together, taking into consideration future treatment plans should the disease progress, as well as the goals of the patient. Many may want to stop the drug to avoid side effects and improve quality of life.
Jansen conducted a study including 509 patients with melanoma being treated with Keytruda. After more than a year of treatment, 81 patients decided to stop. Two experienced disease relapses -- the first patient decided to start Keytruda again and showed a new response, while the second started a different treatment regimen.