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NEW YORK – On Monday, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the anti-PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab (Merck's Keytruda) as a first-line treatment for microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) or mismatch repair deficient (dMMR) metastatic colorectal cancer patients.

Approximately 5 percent of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer have MSI-H or dMMR tumors. These patients have improperly functioning DNA repair systems within their cancer cells.

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