Trending News Today: Merck Launching Phase 3 Trials for Keytruda in Prostate Cancer

Top news of the day across the health care landscape.

Merck announced on Thursday that it is launching 3 late-stage clinical studies for its cancer drug pembrolizumab (Keytruda) as a combination treatment for prostate cancer, the company announced in a press release. According to Merck, interim findings of the trial testing pembrolizumab in combination with other cancer drugs, such as Lynparza, and chemotherapy docetaxel showed anti-tumor activity. Merck now has the largest clinical program with an anti-PD-1 therapy in prostate cancer and the only program to evaluate overall survival as a co-primary endpoint across 3 phase 3 trials, according to the press release.

CVS Health has revealed 3 new concept stores in Houston, Texas, that offer a broader range of health care services. According to CVS Health, the stores include an expanded health clinic with a lab for blood testing and health screening, as well as pathways to wellness and nutritional health through in-store dietitians. With the new format, over 20% of the store is now dedicated to health services, according to the press release.

Deaths from opioid-related overdoses in Massachusetts decreased by 4% in 2018 compared with the previous year, The Associated Press reported. According to the article, the report issued by the Department of Public Health also showed that fentanyl was present in nearly 9 of 10 deaths in 2018 in which toxicology reports were completed. State officials noted that this is the second consecutive year the death rate has declined, the article reported.