Our team based in Seattle conducted a comprehensive review including evolving trends in the management of Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC). This summary covers key decision points, including recommended work-up during initial diagnosis, treatment options for MCC when it’s in one place or has spread, management of recurrent MCC, and new treatments that are showing promise with fewer side effects and good results. This review gives valuable information on how to handle MCC overall and emphasizes new methods that are effective and less toxic on patients.
Aim: To evaluate changes in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in a Phase II trial (NCT02155647) of treatment-naive patients with metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma treated with avelumab (15-month follow-up).
Materials & methods: Mixed-effect Models for Repeated Measures were applied to HRQoL data (FACT-M; EQ-5D-5L) to assess changes over time. Clinically derived progression-free survival was compared with HRQoL deterioration-free survival.
Results: Overall, we saw relative stability in HRQoL among 116 included patients, with nonprogression associated with statistically and clinically meaningful better HRQoL compared with progressive disease. Deterioration-free survival rates (49-72% at 6 months, 40-58% at 12 months) were consistently higher/better compared with progression-free survival rates (41/31% at 6/12 months).
Conclusion: These findings show unique longitudinal HRQoL data for treatment-naive metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma patients treated with avelumab. Clinical trial registration: NCT02155647 (ClinicalTrials.gov).