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Modern and Merck’s experimental cancer vaccine used in combination with MerckIn a clinical trial, Keytruda reduced the risk of the deadliest form of skin cancer spreading to other parts of the body, according to interim study results released Monday.
The study found that Moderna and Merck’s cancer vaccine reduced the risk of melanoma spreading to other parts of the body or death in patients with stage 3 or 4 of the disease by 65% compared to patients who received Merck’s immunotherapy alone.
Moderna and Merck will present the data at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting in Chicago at 5:00 p.m. ET.
The clinical study involved 157 patients whose cancer had been surgically removed.
Patients in the treatment group will receive 1 milligram injections of the vaccine every three weeks for nine total doses and 200 mg intravenous infusions of Keytruda every three weeks for about a year.
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According to the American Cancer Society, melanoma accounts for the vast majority of skin cancer deaths. According to the Society, the rate of melanoma has increased rapidly in recent decades.
According to the society, about 100,000 people will be diagnosed with melanoma in the United States this year and nearly 8,000 people are expected to die from the disease.
The data released on Monday is the latest promising results from Moderna and Merck.
The companies released data in April showing that Moderna and Merck’s cancer vaccine in combination with Keytruda reduced the risk of melanoma coming back by 44% compared to patients who received Merck’s immunotherapy alone.
The Food and Drug Administration granted Moderna and Merck Breakthrough Therapy designation in February, intended to accelerate the development and review of treatments for serious and life-threatening diseases.
Correction: This story has been updated to clarify that the vaccine was jointly developed by Moderna and Merck.