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Narrative review of pembrolizumab for the treatment of esophageal cancer: evidence and outlook

Abstract : Objective: Based on the current evidence, review the efficacy and safety profile of pembrolizumab, along with its shortcomings, in an effort to define future research directions. Background: The survival outcome of esophageal cancer (EC) is poor, especially in patients with advanced stage. Palliative surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and chemoradiotherapy have limited efficacy in prolonging the survival time. Currently, immunotherapies, including adoptive cell therapy-based, antibodybased, and vaccine-based therapies, are attracting considerable attention. The mechanism of immunotherapy lies in the modification of immune response and prevention of immune escape. Immunomodulatory agents can block the programmed cell death protein 1/programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-1/PD-L1) pathway, thereby allowing lymphocytes to attack tumor cells. This class of drugs has the potential to treat a variety of tumors and may substantially improve overall survival (OS) in some patients. Multiple clinical trials have shown that pembrolizumab has good efficacy and safety, enhances the EC treatment paradigm, and has even become the first-line treatment of choice for patients with PD-L1-positive recurrent or metastatic EC. Methods: We reviewed the results of clinical trials of pembrolizumab for EC and gastroesophageal cancer presented at Embase, PubMed, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meetings, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. Conclusions: Pembrolizumab has good efficacy and tolerability profiles, and has emerged as a second-line option for the treatment of PD-L1-positive locally advanced or metastatic ESCC. Pembrolizumab has many promising applications, and further investigations into its mechanisms should be conducted.
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https://www.hal.inserm.fr/inserm-03349940
Contributor : Elizabeth Bernardo Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, September 21, 2021 - 8:15:08 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 20, 2021 - 3:19:34 AM

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Zixian Jin, Jianfei Shen, Chunguo Wang, Dong Chen, Bo Zhang, et al.. Narrative review of pembrolizumab for the treatment of esophageal cancer: evidence and outlook. Annals of translational medicine, AME Publishing Company, 2021, 9 (14), pp.1189 - 1189. ⟨10.21037/atm-21-2804⟩. ⟨inserm-03349940⟩

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