Study of Pembrolizumab (MK-3475) Compared to Platinum-Based Chemotherapies in Participants With Metastatic Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (MK-3475-024/KEYNOTE-024)


About this study

This is an efficacy and safety study to assess pembrolizumab (MK-3475/SCH 900475) compared to standard of care (SOC) platinum-based chemotherapies in the treatment of participants with previously untreated stage IV, programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) strong expressing Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC). The primary hypothesis of this study is that participants with PD-L1 strong NSCLC will have a longer Progression Free Survival (PFS), as assessed by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors version 1.1 (RECIST 1.1) when treated with pembrolizumab than when treated with platinum-based chemotherapies.

Participation eligibility

Participant eligibility includes age, gender, type and stage of disease, and previous treatments or health concerns. Guidelines differ from study to study, and identify who can or cannot participate. There is no guarantee that every individual who qualifies and wants to participate in a trial will be enrolled. Contact the study team to discuss study eligibility and potential participation.

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Histological or cytological diagnosis of Stage IV NSCLC lacking epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-sensitizing mutation and/or anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) translocation, and received no prior systemic chemotherapy treatment for their metastatic NSCLC
  • At least one radiographically measurable lesion per RECIST 1.1
  • Life expectancy of at least 3 months
  • Performance status of 0 or 1 on the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) Performance Status
  • Adequate organ function
  • No history of prior malignancy, with the exception of basal cell carcinoma of the skin, superficial bladder cancer, squamous cell carcinoma of the skin, or in situ cervical cancer, or has undergone potentially curative therapy with no evidence of that disease recurrence for 5 years since initiation of that therapy
  • Provided newly obtained formalin fixed tumor tissue from a biopsy of a tumor AFTER the diagnosis of metastatic disease has been made AND from a site not previously irradiated
  • PD-L1 strong expressing tumor as determined by immunohistochemistry (IHC) at a central laboratory
  • Female participants must have a negative pregnancy test at screening if of childbearing potential or be of non-childbearing potential
  • Female participants of childbearing potential and male partners with female partners of childbearing potential must agree to use 2 adequate barrier methods of contraception during the study and for 120 days after last dose of study drug and up to 180 days after last dose of chemotherapy

Exclusion Criteria:

  • EGFR sensitizing mutation and/or ALK translocation
  • Currently participating or has participated in a study of an investigational agent or using an investigational device within 30 days of first dose of study drug
  • Tumor specimen is not evaluable for PD-L1 expression by the central laboratory
  • Receiving systemic steroid therapy <= 3 days prior to first dose of study drug or receiving any other form of immunosuppressive medication
  • Expected to require any other form of systemic or localized antineoplastic therapy during the study
  • Received prior systemic cytotoxic chemotherapy, biological therapy, major surgery within 3 weeks of first dose of study drug; received thoracic radiation therapy of > 30 gray (Gy) within 6 months of first dose of study drug
  • Received prior therapy with an anti-programmed cell death protein 1 (anti-PD-1), anti-PD-L1, anti-programmed cell death-ligand 2 (anti-PD-L2), anti-CD137 (4-1BB ligand, a member of the Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor [TNFR] family), or anti-Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen-4 (anti-CTLA-4) antibody (including ipilimumab or any other antibody or drug specifically targeting T-cell co-stimulation or checkpoint pathways)
  • Has untreated central nervous system (CNS) metastases and/or carcinomatous meningitis
  • Active autoimmune disease that has required systemic treatment in past 2 years
  • Allogenic tissue/solid organ transplant
  • Interstitial lung disease or pneumonitis that has required oral or IV steroids
  • Received or will receive a live vaccine within 30 days prior to first dose of study drug
  • Active infection requiring IV systemic therapy
  • Known history of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Known active tuberculosis, or hepatitis B or C
  • Known psychiatric or substance abuse disorders that would interfere with cooperation with the requirements of the study
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding, or expecting to conceive or father children during the study and through 120 days after last dose of study drug
  • Immediate family member who is investigational site or sponsor staff directly involved with this study

Participating Mayo Clinic locations

Study statuses change often. Please contact the study team for the most up-to-date information regarding possible participation.

Mayo Clinic Location Status Contact

Rochester, Minn.

Mayo Clinic principal investigator

Julian Molina, M.D., Ph.D.

Closed for enrollment

Contact information:

Cancer Center Clinical Trials Referral Office


More information


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