Sanford Studying Immunotherapy Drug for Esophageal Cancer

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Sanford Studying Immunotherapy Drug for Esophageal Cancer

A  clinical trial looks at an immunotherapy drug developed by Merck for advanced esophageal cancer.

A clinical trial at Sanford Health is studying if an immunotherapy drug developed by Merck might be able to treat certain patients with advanced esophageal cancer. The Merck Keynote 181 trial is now open at Sanford.

The study is exploring the Merck drug pembrolizumab, an immune checkpoint inhibitor that allows the body to recognize the cancer and use its immune system to clear the disease. Keynote 181 is open for patients with advanced esophageal cancer who have received two previous therapies. Participants, who must be at least 18, are required to provide a tissue biopsy.

Sanford is also studying the application of pembrolizumab in other types of cancer under the Merck Investigator Studies Program, or MISP. The drug is FDA approved for melanoma and certain types of lung cancer.

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