Video

Dr. Kudchadkar on Immunotherapy in Merkel Cell Carcinoma

Ragini Kudchadkar, MD, assistant professor, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, associate director, Hematology and Medical Oncology Fellowship Program-Clinical/Service, Emory University School of Medicine, discusses immunotherapy in Merkel cell carcinoma.

Ragini Kudchadkar, MD, assistant professor, Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology, associate director, Hematology and Medical Oncology Fellowship Program-Clinical/Service, Emory University School of Medicine, Winship Cancer Institute, discusses immunotherapy in Merkel cell carcinoma.

Merkel cell carcinoma has traditionally been treated with chemotherapy, says Kudchadker. The discovery of Merkel cell polyomavirus led to the development of immunotherapy, as it allows for clinicians to see PD-L1 staining and exhausted T cells.

Pembrolizumab (Keytruda), nivolumab (Opdivo), and avelumab (Bavencio) are all used for the treatment of Merkel cell carcinoma, and are demonstrating durable responses previously unseen in this disease.

Avelumab was approved by the FDA in March 2017 based on the data from the phase II JAVELIN Merkel 200 study. In the open-label trial, the objective response rate (ORR) with avelumab was 33% (95% CI, 23.3%-43.8%), which included an 11.4% (95% CI, 6.6%-19.9%) complete response rate and a 21.6% (95% CI, 13.5%-31.7%) partial response rate.

Related Videos
Karl Semaan, MD, MSc
Bradley McGregor, MD, discusses findings from a phase 1b study of abemaciclib  in clear cell renal cell carcinoma.
Marc-Oliver Grimm, MD
Chun Chao, PhD, MS
Mikkael A. Sekeres, MD
Noa Biran, MD
Ranee Mehra, MD, professor, medicine, medical oncology; director, Head and Neck Medical Oncology, Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Maryland Medical System
Sumanta Kumar Pal, MD, FASCO, chair, Kidney and Bladder Cancer Disease Team; co-director, Kidney Cancer Program; professor, vice chair, Academic Affairs, Department of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research, City of Hope
Alfred L. Garfall, MD, MS
David Braun, MD, PhD