Things are heating up rapidly in the 1L non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) space with the latest news that Merck’s pembrolizumab beat out chemotherapy as monotherapy in previously untreated stage 4 patients in KEYNOTE-042.

Is the path to success is a rocky road for some companies in 1L NSCLC?

BMS’s trial in this setting, CheckMate-026, previously failed to show any benefit for nivolumab over chemotherapy, so what gives?

There is no doubt that Merck have been on a roll in lung cancer of late with nary a false step with pembrolizumab thus far.  Is that down to luck or careful preparation?  Are there differences in the molecules or trial designs?

Here, we take a look at the two situations and continue our ongoing analysis as these results certainly offer a ‘tale of two cities’ perspective in the same indication.

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