Pembrolizumab for patients with previously treated metastatic adenocarcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma of the esophagus: phase 2 KEYNOTE-180 study

Date 29 June 2016
Event ESMO World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer 2016
Session ESMO World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer 2016 - Abstracts book
Presenter Shah Manish
Citation Annals of Oncology (2016) 27 (2): 1-85. 10.1093/annonc/mdw199
Authors S. Manish1, B. Jaafar2, S. Lin3, E. Peter4, L. Qiao5, C. Ildiko5, K. Minori5, D. Toshihiko6
  • 1Weill Cornell Medical College and New York Presbyterian Hospital, New York, USA, /
  • 2Institut de Cancérologie de l'Ouest, Nantes, France, /
  • 3Peking University Cancer Hospital & Institute, Beijing, China, /
  • 4Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, /
  • 5Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, New Jersey, USA, /
  • 6National Cancer Center Hospital East, Kashiwa, Japan, /


Programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) is frequently overexpressed in esophageal cancer, and its expression has been associated with poor prognosis. Thus, immunotherapy via PD-1/PD-L1 blockade may provide benefit for patients with esophageal cancer. Pembrolizumab is a humanized monoclonal antibody that targets the PD-1 receptor and blocks its interaction with both of its ligands, PD-L1 and PD-L2, thereby permitting activation of an antitumor cytotoxic immune response. In the multicohort, phase 1b KEYNOTE-028 study, pembrolizumab showed manageable toxicity, had an objective response rate (ORR) of 30.4%, and median duration of response (DOR) was not reached in 23 patients with PD-L1–positive advanced esophageal cancer. The single-arm, multicenter, phase 2 KEYNOTE-180 study (, NCT02559687) was designed to further evaluate pembrolizumab as monotherapy in patients with previously treated advanced/metastatic esophageal cancer.