Ed's TRU Story: A Real Patient With Advanced Kidney Cancer
Advanced kidney cancer (RCC)


Ed is a real patient and this is his TRU story. Results may vary. KEYTRUDA may not work for everyone.

See how Ed navigated his treatment on KEYTRUDA + axitinib with a positive attitude and the help of his supportive family

See How Ed Navigates His Treatment on KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) and Axitinib With a Positive Attitude and the Help of His Supportive Family
To learn more, see results from a clinical trial with KEYTRUDA + axitinib.
Ed's Journey With Advanced Kidney Cancer

Ed's journey

When we learned that they couldn’t operate anymore, we weren’t going to take that as our final answer. We weren’t going to give up.
- Dawn, Ed's wife, reflecting on Ed's journey with advanced kidney cancer

Facing uncertainty

A determined husband, father, and grandfather, Ed has kept fighting advanced kidney cancer no matter what. Since his diagnosis, Ed believes that the support from his family, a positive mental attitude, and hope have combined to help him deal with uncertainty.

So, when Ed’s cancer returned and he learned that surgery was no longer an option, he and his family were left feeling lost.

Making a plan

Ed’s uncertainty quickly gave way to his usual “whatever I have to do” mentality. Ed and his wife, Dawn, were determined to do everything they could to move forward.

Dawn had been hearing about immunotherapy throughout Ed’s treatment, so after talking through the options together with Ed's doctor, they decided on KEYTRUDA + axitinib.

After Talking Through Their Options Together, Ed and His Doctor Moved Forward With KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab) and Axitinib

A supportive family

As Ed went through treatment, his entire family came together in support of him—especially Dawn. She was at every single appointment with a pen in hand, taking notes. “He was focused on feeling better… I was the one who would talk to the doctors, ask the questions, keep the records, and I was acting as his advocate in every way that I could.”

Ed's Family Support System
Hear from Dawn, Mike and Eric on how they supported Ed.

Ed’s treatment was close to where his son Mike lives, which gave Ed a chance to visit him more often. “Every time he was getting treatment, he would come over to our house and we would have a meal,” Mike recalls. “These dinners became a tradition with our family.”

Ed experienced some side effects during his treatment, like nausea and tiredness. From the start of treatment, Ed leaned on his family to get through everything.

After starting KEYTRUDA + axitinib, Ed and his family saw the results they were looking for.

We gave it a shot, and after I started my treatment, my scans started to look better.
- Ed, on his results with KEYTRUDA + axitinib

A positive outlook

"After my diagnosis, I knew I had to keep fighting. It's just who I am," Ed recalls.

After his diagnosis, Ed learned to look at life in much more simple terms. He recalls reminding himself, “Just keep on keepin’ on. There’s one goal. Do not waver, do not deviate. You just go do it.” His glass-half-full attitude has become an inspiration for his entire family.

At their most recent get-together, Ed's son Mike sums it up: “He doesn’t quit. Every time he got bad news, he always looked at the positive and said we’re going to fight this. And there was a time where I just remember thinking ‘he can’t go through anything else,’ but it didn’t matter to him. He was going to keep going and he did.”

Experiences with KEYTRUDA differ among individuals. KEYTRUDA will not work for everyone, and it's important to be informed about possible side effects. Always talk to your doctor or health care team if you have questions about your treatment.

Ed's Advanced Kidney Cancer Patient Story

FDA-Approved Indications

KEYTRUDA is a prescription medicine used to treat a kind of kidney cancer called renal cell carcinoma (RCC). It may be used with the medicine axitinib as your first treatment when your kidney cancer has spread or cannot be removed by surgery (advanced RCC).

Important Safety Information

KEYTRUDA is a medicine that may treat certain cancers by working with your immune system. KEYTRUDA can cause your immune system to attack normal organs and tissues in any area of your body and can affect the way they work. These problems can sometimes become severe or life-threatening and can lead to death. These problems may happen any time during treatment or even after your treatment has ended.

Call or see your doctor right away if you develop any symptoms of the following problems or these symptoms get worse:

Lung problems (pneumonitis). Symptoms of pneumonitis may include shortness of breath, chest pain, or new or worse cough.

Intestinal problems (colitis) that can lead to tears or holes in your intestine. Signs and symptoms of colitis may include diarrhea or more bowel movements than usual; stools that are black, tarry, sticky, or have blood or mucus; or severe stomach-area (abdomen) pain or tenderness.

Liver problems, including hepatitis. Signs and symptoms of liver problems may include yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes, nausea or vomiting, pain on the right side of your stomach area (abdomen), dark urine, or bleeding or bruising more easily than normal.

Hormone gland problems (especially the thyroid, pituitary, adrenal glands, and pancreas). Signs and symptoms that your hormone glands are not working properly may include rapid heartbeat, weight loss or weight gain, increased sweating, feeling more hungry or thirsty, urinating more often than usual, hair loss, feeling cold, constipation, your voice gets deeper, muscle aches, feeling very weak, dizziness or fainting, or headaches that will not go away or unusual headache.

Kidney problems, including nephritis and kidney failure. Signs of kidney problems may include change in the amount or color of your urine.

Skin problems. Signs of skin problems may include rash, itching, blisters, peeling or skin sores, or painful sores or ulcers in your mouth or in your nose, throat, or genital area.

Problems in other organs. Signs and symptoms of these problems may include changes in eyesight; severe or persistent muscle or joint pains; severe muscle weakness; low red blood cells (anemia); swollen lymph nodes, rash or tender lumps on skin, cough, shortness of breath, vision changes, or eye pain (sarcoidosis); confusion, fever, muscle weakness, balance problems, nausea, vomiting, stiff neck, memory problems, or seizures (encephalitis); pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in your arms or legs; bladder or bowel problems including needing to urinate more often, leaking of urine, trouble urinating, or constipation (myelitis); and shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, feeling tired, or chest pain (myocarditis).

Infusion (IV) reactions that can sometimes be severe and life-threatening. Signs and symptoms of infusion reactions may include chills or shaking, shortness of breath or wheezing, itching or rash, flushing, dizziness, fever, or feeling like passing out.

Rejection of a transplanted organ. People who have had an organ transplant may have an increased risk of organ transplant rejection if they are treated with KEYTRUDA.

Complications, including graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), in people who have received a bone marrow (stem cell) transplant that uses donor stem cells (allogeneic). These complications can be severe and can lead to death. These complications may happen if you underwent transplantation either before or after being treated with KEYTRUDA. Your doctor will monitor you for the following signs and symptoms: skin rash, liver inflammation, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

Getting medical treatment right away may help keep these problems from becoming more serious. Your doctor will check you for these problems during treatment with KEYTRUDA. Your doctor may treat you with corticosteroid or hormone replacement medicines. Your doctor may also need to delay or completely stop treatment with KEYTRUDA if you have severe side effects.

Before you receive KEYTRUDA, tell your doctor if you have immune system problems such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or lupus; have had an organ transplant or plan to have or have had a bone marrow (stem cell) transplant that used donor stem cells (allogeneic); have lung or breathing problems; have liver problems; or have any other medical problems.

If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, tell your doctor. KEYTRUDA can harm your unborn baby. If you are able to become pregnant, your doctor will give you a pregnancy test before you start treatment. Use effective birth control during treatment and for at least 4 months after the final dose of KEYTRUDA. Tell your doctor right away if you think you may be pregnant or you become pregnant during treatment with KEYTRUDA.

If you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed, tell your doctor. It is not known if KEYTRUDA passes into your breast milk. Do not breastfeed during treatment with KEYTRUDA and for 4 months after your final dose of KEYTRUDA.

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Common side effects of KEYTRUDA when used alone include feeling tired; pain, including pain in muscles, bones, or joints and stomach area (abdominal) pain; decreased appetite; itching; diarrhea; nausea; rash; fever; cough; shortness of breath; and constipation.

In children, fever, vomiting, upper respiratory tract infection, headache, and low levels of white blood cells and red blood cells (anemia) are more common than in adults.

Common side effects of KEYTRUDA when given with certain chemotherapy medicines include feeling tired or weak; nausea; constipation; diarrhea; decreased appetite; rash; vomiting; cough; trouble breathing; fever; hair loss; inflammation of the nerves that may cause pain, weakness, and paralysis in the arms and legs; swelling of the lining of the mouth, nose, eyes, throat, intestines, or vagina; and mouth sores.

Common side effects of KEYTRUDA when given with axitinib include diarrhea; feeling tired or weak; high blood pressure; liver problems; low levels of thyroid hormone; decreased appetite; blisters or rash on the palms of your hands and soles of your feet; nausea; mouth sores or swelling of the lining of the mouth, nose, eyes, throat, intestines, or vagina; hoarseness; rash; cough; and constipation.

These are not all the possible side effects of KEYTRUDA. Tell your doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please read the accompanying Medication Guide for KEYTRUDA and discuss it with your doctor. The physician Prescribing Information also is available.