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Published online: 2023-09-22

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Pembrolizumab in combination with chemotherapy in patients with advanced squamous cell lung cancer — clinical trials and real-world data

Magdalena Knetki-Wróblewska1, Dariusz M. Kowalski1


Advanced squamous-cell lung carcinoma remains a disease with an unfavorable prognosis. Until recently, chemotherapy was used in systemic treatment, and its effectiveness was limited. Implementation of immune check-point inhibitors allowed for an improvement in treatment results. The KEYNOTE-407 study included patients with squamous-cell lung cancer who received 4 immunochemotherapy cycles followed by maintenance treatment with pembrolizumab. Median overall survival of 17.2 months versus 11.6 months for chemotherapy was obtained (risk of death reduction by 29%) while the percentage of patients remaining in follow-up was 18%. Analysis of patients with good performance status treated in clinical practice confirms the results from the registration study and emphasizes the importance of taking into consideration clinical factors while qualifying patients for treatment.

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