It can be an effective immunotherapy, but in certain patients, it may cause severe immune-related adverse effects. Some might need something stronger (or lighter) depending on several factors, including where the melanoma is and how fast it’s spreading.
What is Keytruda?Read More
- Adjuvant treatment of stage IIB and IIC melanoma: To help prevent relapse after the melanoma is surgically removed
- Adjuvant treatment of stage III melanoma: To help prevent relapse after the melanoma is surgically removed
- Advanced melanoma: To treat melanoma that has spread to other parts of the body or can’t be removed with surgery
How Does Keytruda Work?
Keytruda works by blocking a protein called PD-1 on the surface of cancer cells and T-cells. This blocks the signals that tell the T-cells to stop attacking the cancer cells. The drug works with your immune system to help find and attack cancer cells.
Keytruda Side Effects
As with any medication, Keytruda may cause side effects. These vary based on whether you’re taking Keytruda alone or in combination with other drugs.
The most common side effects of Keytruda alone include:
- Muscle/bone/joint pain
- Changes in appetite
- Shortness of breath
- Abdominal pain and/or nausea
- Low thyroid hormone
If you’re taking Keytruda with other medications, you may experience additional side effects. For example, if you’re taking Keytruda with chemotherapy, you may experience weakness or nerve pain. This is not a complete list of side effects.
In some cases, Keytruda may not be the best option for treating melanoma. Your doctor can help you weigh the pros and cons of this drug and determine if it’s the best treatment for you. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about your cancer treatment, including Keytruda.