A drug whose clinical testing was led by Charles S. Fuchs, MD, MPH, director of Yale Cancer Center, has become the first immunotherapy treatment for advanced stomach cancer.

The drug, pembrolizumab (Keytruda®), was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for adult patients diagnosed with advanced stomach cancer showing PD-L1 positive tumors. Pembrolizumab works by increasing the ability of the body’s immune system to help detect and fight tumor cells.

In 2017, an estimated 28,000 Americans will be diagnosed with stomach cancer.