Keytruda breast cancer

Keytruda breast cancer

Keytruda is a prescription medication. It is used for TNBC, a kind of breast cancer. TNBC lacks estrogen, progesterone, and HER2 receptors. Doctors give it with chemotherapy before surgery. Then, they continue it after surgery for high-risk cases. Keytruda may also be used with chemotherapy.

This is when the cancer has returned or cannot be removed. The non-branded name for Keytruda is pembrolizumab. Pembrolizumab is a targeted therapy. It changes tumor cells. This boosts the immune response against cancer. Recent studies have shown promise.

They found a new three-drug combination. It has a response rate of 25% to 40% for TNBC patients. 

Keytruda How it works

  • Immunotherapy as opposed to chemotherapy or targeted therapy works in a way that the drug. 
  • We’re administering to patients; immunotherapy manipulates in a way your own immune system to recognize cancer cells and therefore fight the cancer cells.  
  • This is different to the classical chemotherapy you may have heard about where effectively a poison is given intravenously or put a tablet into your system which effectively in a non-targetable way destroys all fast-growing tissue including your gastrointestinal system.  
  • You may get mouth ulcers, diarrhea, your bone marrow, you may have low white cells, you may have risk of infection, immunotherapy works differently.  
  • As I said, it stimulates your t-cells, your immune system and other parts to recognize cancer cells and that way– it’s your immune system targeting the cancers. 
  • We only help with immune therapy to get this immune system stronger, better in recognizing cancer proteins and fighting cancer. 

Side Effects of Keytruda

Common Side Effects

Feeling tired, Muscle pain, Rash, Fever, Decreased appetite, Cough 

Side Effects in Children 

Fever, Vomiting, Low blood cell levels, Headache 

Additional Side Effects when Combined with Chemotherapy 

Nausea, Nerve inflammation, Hair loss 

Severe Reactions

Immune system problems, Infusion-related issues.

Balancing benefits and risks for patients of Keytruda.




Keytruda is a prescription medicine used to treat various types of cancer by working with the immune system. 

Potential Risks 

Keytruda can cause the immune system to attack normal organs and tissues in any area of the body, leading to severe or life-threatening problems, which can even lead to death. Patients should be aware of potential side effects, including lung, intestinal, liver, and hormone gland problems. 


Patients should contact their healthcare provider immediately if they experience any signs or symptoms of lung problems, intestinal problems, liver problems, hormone gland problems, or any severe adverse reactions. 

Adverse Reactions 

Keytruda is associated with various adverse reactions, including nausea, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting, and decreased appetite. 


Patients should discuss the benefits and risks of Keytruda with their healthcare provider before starting treatment. 


Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Overview

• Lacks estrogen, progesterone, and human epidermal growth factor receptors. 
• Composed about 10–15% of all breast cancers. 
• More common in younger women, black women, or BRCA1 mutation carriers. 
• Treatment often involves chemotherapy and immunotherapy. 
• Research is ongoing for new treatments, including immunotherapies and targeted therapies.

Why TNBC is Challenging and its Impact

TNBC is a tough form of breast cancer. It lacks the three most common receptors in breast cancer cells. This makes it hard to treat with targeted therapies. These include hormone therapy and HER2-targeted therapy. TNBC is likely to spread and come back after treatment.

It is more aggressive than other breast cancers. Deciding how to treat TNBC is complex. It often involves a mix of chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation. In some cases, targeted therapy such as PARP inhibitors may also be used. 

How Keytruda is used alongside chemotherapy before breast surgery.

Drug Name 

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) 




Combined with chemotherapy before some breast cancer surgeries 


To shrink tumors more effectively than chemotherapy alone, potentially improving surgical outcomes and survival rates for certain patients 


Boosts the immune system to recognize and attack cancer cells better, enhancing the effectiveness of standard chemotherapy treatments 


Promising results in clinical trials, especially among women with triple-negative or HER2-positive breast cancers 


Not all patients are eligible; eligibility depends on specific factors such as overall health status and tumor characteristics 


Consult your healthcare team to determine eligibility for this advanced treatment option 

Reduction in the risk of breast cancer recurrence.

Breast Cancer Recurrence Prevention 

  • Maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Engaging in regular physical activity.
  • Limiting alcohol consumption.
  • Using ongoing treatment with medications like tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors.
  • These steps can improve cancer-free survival and overall quality of life.

Give safety tips for Keytruda

Medical Supervision:- 

Always take Keytruda under the guidance of a qualified oncologist or healthcare professional. attend follow-up appointments to check your progress and manage any side effects. 

Side Effects Awareness 

Be aware of side effects. They include fatigue, skin rash, and diarrhea. They can also include immune-related adverse events. – Report any unusual symptoms to your doctor. 


Keytruda boosts your immune system, but it can also cause immune-related problems. Avoid close contact with sick individuals, especially during flu season. Inform your doctor if you experience signs of infection. 

Sun Protection 

Keytruda may increase sensitivity to sunlight. Use sunscreen, wear protective clothing, and limit sun exposure. Report any skin changes or sunburns to your healthcare provider. 

Medication Interactions 

Inform your doctor about all medications, supplements, and herbal products you’re taking. Some drugs may interact with Keytruda, affecting its effectiveness or causing adverse effects. 

Allergies and hypersensitivity 

If you’ve had allergic reactions to any medications, discuss this with your doctor. – Be vigilant for signs of hypersensitivity, such as difficulty breathing or swelling. 

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding 

Keytruda’s safety during pregnancy is not well-established. Discuss family planning with your doctor. – Avoid breastfeeding while on Keytruda. 

Sharing experiences of patients

Keytruda is an innovative immunotherapy treatment. It has transformed cancer survivors’ lives. It does this by boosting the body’s immune system against tumors. Patients report increased strength, improved quality of life, and extended survival times. For example, Melissa M. credits Keytruda for giving her more time with family and friends. Michael S. shares how it helped him beat advanced melanoma. These heartwarming stories highlight the importance of personalized medicine in cancer treatment. 

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