Howard L. Kaufman, MD, chief surgical officer, associate director for clinical science, surgical oncologist, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, discusses the phase II JAVELIN Merkel 200 study examining avelumab as a treatment for patients with Merkel cell carcinoma.
Patients with advanced disease who were enrolled on the trial had already failed prior treatment with chemotherapy, Kaufman explains. A total of 88 patients were enrolled.
With the intravenous 30-minute treatment of avelumab, Kaufman says the therapy was very well tolerated. Results showed that there was an objective response rate of 31%, with an additional 10% of patients achieving stable disease. Although the median follow-up was 10 months, these early findings—which also show complete responses and disappearance of visceral metastases—are encouraging, he adds.