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Seattle Team Pivotal to FDA OK on Drug for Rare Skin Cancer

By January 3, 2019No Comments

An immunotherapy clinical trial based in Seattle, among other U.S. sites, was pivotal to the Dec. 19 approval by the Food and Drug Administration of the drug pembrolizumab (Keytruda) to treat Merkel cell carcinoma, a rare and often fatal skin cancer.

The FDA’s accelerated approval of the drug was based on findings from a trial of 50 patients at 13 clinical sites across the United States, including 12 patients, the largest cohort, in Seattle. The trial was initiated in 2014 by the Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network (CITN), which is based at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and was sponsored by the National Cancer Institute.