ePrivacy and GPDR Cookie Consent by Cookie Consent

Efficacy of Pembrolizumab in Patients With Noncolorectal High MSI/Mismatch Repair–Deficient Cancer


Nov. 18, 2019


Journal of Clinical Oncology Nov. 2019 DOI: 10.1200/JCO.19.02105

PD-1 inhibition (pembrolizumab) in previously treated microsatellite unstable tumours: ORR (>=13 patients treated): endometrial 57%, gastric 46%, small bowel 42%, cholangiocarcinoma 41%, ovarian 33%, pancreatic 18%, brain no responses.


Genomes of tumors that are deficient in DNA mismatch repair (dMMR) have high microsatellite instability (MSI-H) and harbor hundreds to thousands of somatic mutations that encode potential neoantigens. Such tumors are therefore likely to be immunogenic, triggering upregulation of immune checkpoint proteins. Pembrolizumab, an anti‒programmed death-1 monoclonal antibody, has antitumor activity against MSI-H/dMMR cancer. We report data from the phase II KEYNOTE-158 study of pembrolizumab in patients with previously treated, advanced noncolorectal MSI-H/dMMR cancer.


Among 233 enrolled patients, 27 tumor types were represented, with endometrial, gastric, cholangiocarcinoma, and pancreatic cancers being the most common. Median follow up was 13.4 months. Objective response rate was 34.3% (95% CI, 28.3% to 40.8%). Median progression-free survival was 4.1 months (95% CI, 2.4 to 4.9 months) and median overall survival was 23.5 months (95% CI, 13.5 months to not reached). Treatment-related adverse events occurred in 151 patients (64.8%). Thirty-four patients (14.6%) had grade 3 to 5 treatment-related adverse events. Grade 5 pneumonia occurred in one patient; there were no other treatment-related fatal adverse events.


Our study demonstrates the clinical benefit of anti–programmed death-1 therapy with pembrolizumab among patients with previously treated unresectable or metastatic MSI-H/dMMR noncolorectal cancer. Toxicity was consistent with previous experience of pembrolizumab monotherapy.