Antibodies are special proteins produced in the human body completely naturally as a component of our immune system. By contrast, the active substance pembrolizumab is an antibody developed in the laboratory. Pembrolizumab binds to one specific protein (PD-1) that is present on tumour cells, depending on the characteristics of the kind of cancer.
In addition to the active substance, the product also contains other ingredients (such as histidine and sucrose). KEYTRUDA® is produced in the form of a concentrated liquid. A healthcare professional first dilutes the medicine, thereby producing a ready-to-use solution for infusion. Finally, this is administered to the patient on an outpatient basis in a medical practice or hospital.
An active substance for the treatment of different kinds of cancer
Tumours can develop similar characteristics and mechanisms (such as the ability to slow down the immune system), even when they occur in different patients and in very different parts of the body in these patients. This is why cancer medicines that target specific tumour cell properties can also be used in different kinds of cancer. The same is true of KEYTRUDA®.
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