Lung Cancer Patients Get Drug Used by Jimmy Carter Instead of Chemo - NBC Connecticut

Lung Cancer Patients Get Drug Used by Jimmy Carter Instead of Chemo

Keytruda was the same drug that helped Jimmy Carter stall advanced melanoma that spread to his brain

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    In this Feb. 28, 2013 file photo, a Merck logo is placed on scientist's lab coat in West Point, Pa. Researchers say they'll give Keytruda, a drug manufactured by Merck, to lung cancer patients who have never received treatment at all.

    Lung cancer patients who have never been treated will now get the same drug used to help former President Jimmy Carter, NBC News reported. 

    Researchers said they wanted to give Keytruda to 305 lung cancer patients who never received treatment. They wanted to see how it worked against standard chemotherapy cocktails. 

    It worked as well if not better than chemo, so researchers stopped the study to see if the drug worked well on its own. 

    Keytruda was the same drug that helped Jimmy Carter stall advanced melanoma that spread to his brain. It also helped patients live longer without their tumors growing or spreading, according to Merck — the company that makes the drug. 

    The company can now ask the Food and Drug Administration if it will approve Keytruda to use as the first treatment a lung cancer patient tries.