Clinical Study of First-line Immunotherapy for Esophageal Cancer Published in The Lancet

2021.10.05  42


Professor Sun, Jong Mu from the Division of Hematology-Oncology published a KEYNOTE-590 research paper as the first author and corresponding author in The Lancet (IF 79.32), an international journal, which proved the efficacy of pembrolizumab (Keytruda) as a first-line treatment for metastatic esophageal cancer.


In this study, 749 esophageal cancer patients around the world were randomly assigned to a group that was administered with cytotoxic chemotherapy alone and a group that was administered with a combination of cytotoxic chemotherapy and Keytruda. The results of the two groups were then compared.


The outcome of the study showed that there were statistically significant improvements in the overall survival for patients in the Keytruda combination treatment group. This established the superiority of the Keytruda combination treatment group in comparison to the existing standard treatment method of cytotoxic chemotherapy and is recognized to having changed the paradigm of first-line treatment for esophageal cancer.


Professor Sun, Jong Mu obtained the status of corresponding author as he was recognized for making decisive contributions to the successful implementation of the study by registering patients and providing high-quality research management and constructive feedback among dozens of lead researchers at individual institutions participating in this study.


Patients' Rights and Responsibilities

Patients' Rights

1. Right to receive medical care

Patients have the right to receive proper medical and nursing services for their Health Protection and Promotion and they will not be discriminated for gender, age, religion, status, nationality, language, race, or physical/mental/financial circumstances nor be violated of their health. Medical team may not deny medical care without justifiable reason.

2. Right to be informed & autonomous decision

Patients have the right to receive be well-informed and to inquire in detail about the treating physician’s specialty, status of their disease, purpose of the treatment, treatment plan, method, expected results and side effects of the treatment, discharge plan, medical cost, whether or not they are a subject to medical research, organ transplant/donation and etc, and to decide whether to give consent. Patients may stop or deny specific treatment or planned medical care within the ethical guideline and may decide on an alternative treatment.

3. Right to have confidentiality

Patients will not be violated of their rights to confidentiality regarding their physical/health status and privacy. Medical team and facility may not reveal or announce patient’s confidential information, including personal information, unless patient has gives consent or specified in the law, such as criminal investigation.

4. Right to request for consultation and mediation

Patients may request for consultation and mediation from an internal or external agency (Korea Consumer Agency, Korea Medical Dispute Mediation and Arbitration Agency) in the event of any medical dispute.

5. Right to be respected of values or beliefs

Patients will not be discriminated for their culture, religious values or beliefs, and their rights will not be violated.

6. Right to be physically protected and to have stability of mind and bod

Patients have the right to be protected from possible danger in the hospital and to have the stability of mind and body.


1. Responsible to trust and respect the medical team

Patients must accurately inform the medical team of their health condition, trust and respect the medical team’s treatment plan. Patients may be responsible for consequences which results from not following the instruction.

2. Responsible to not use dishonest method for medical treatment

Patients must reveal their identity before receiving any medical care and must not use false or dishonest method, such as receiving medical case under disguised ownership.

3. Responsible to abide by all hospital regulations

Patients must abide by all hospital regulations, respect hospital staff and other patients, and earnestly fulfill the financial obligation to the hospital.