Avelumab Induces Durable Responses in Merkel Cell Carcinoma

Share this content:
Treatment with avelumab induced durable responses among, and was well tolerated by, patients with advanced Merkel cell carcinoma.
Treatment with avelumab induced durable responses among, and was well tolerated by, patients with advanced Merkel cell carcinoma.

Treatment with avelumab induced durable responses among, and was well tolerated by, patients with advanced Merkel cell carcinoma, according to a study published in The Lancet Oncology.1

Avelumab is an investigational, anti-PD-L1 IgG1 monoclonal antibody. Oncogenesis is associated with Merkel cell polyomavirus integration and ultraviolet-radiation-induced mutations; researchers evaluated PD-L1/PD-1 pathway inhibition with avelumab in patients with stage 4 Merkel cell carcinoma that had progressed after chemotherapy.

For this international, open-label, phase 2 trial, investigators enrolled 88 patients with stage 4 chemotherapy-refractory Merkel cell carcinoma. All patients received avelumab every 2 weeks.

Median follow-up was 10.4 months; 31.8% of patients achieved an objective response, including 8 complete responses and 20 partial responses.

At the time of analysis, 82% of the 28 responses were ongoing.

Four patients reported grade 3 treatment-related adverse events, including lymphopenia in 2 patients, elevated blood creatine phosphokinase in 1 patient, increased aminotransferase in 1 patient, and elevated blood cholesterol in 1 patient.

Serious treatment-related events were observed in 5 patients and included enterocolitis, infusion-related reaction, increased aminotransferase, chondrocalcinosis, synovitis, and interstitial nephritis.

RELATED: Pembrolizumab Is Promising for Future Merkel Cell Cancer Treatment

The findings suggest that PD-L1/PD-1 pathway inhibition with avelumab may represent a novel treatment option for patients with advanced Merkel cell carcinoma.

Reference

  1. Kaufman HL, Russell J, Hamid O, et al. Avelumab in patients with chemotherapy-refractory metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma: a multicentre, single-group, open-label, phase 2 trial. Lancet Oncol. 2016 Sep 1. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(16)30364-3 [Epub ahead of print]

Related Resources

You must be a registered member of Cancer Therapy Advisor to post a comment.

Sign Up for Free e-newsletters

Regimen and Drug Listings

GET FULL LISTINGS OF TREATMENT Regimens and Drug INFORMATION

Bone Cancer Regimens Drugs
Brain Cancer Regimens Drugs
Breast Cancer Regimens Drugs
Endocrine Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gastrointestinal Cancer Regimens Drugs
Gynecologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Head and Neck Cancer Regimens Drugs
Hematologic Cancer Regimens Drugs
Lung Cancer Regimens Drugs
Other Cancers Regimens
Prostate Cancer Regimens Drugs
Rare Cancers Regimens
Renal Cell Carcinoma Regimens Drugs
Skin Cancer Regimens Drugs
Urologic Cancers Regimens Drugs