“This is a really great study with excellent translational research,” said formal discussant Winald Gerritsen, MD, PhD, Professor of Immunotherapy at Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. “I consider it practice-changing for Merkel cell carcinoma. The company is going for expedited review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and it can be used off-label in some countries.” Other companies are doing studies in Merkel cell carcinoma with similar compounds, continued Dr. Gerritsen.
“Merkel cell carcinoma is a very aggressive disease. We were surprised when responses to pembrolizumab were seen within 2 to 3 months,” he added. ■
Disclosure: Dr. Gerritsen reported no potential conflicts of interest.
Immunotherapy marches on! One of the latest frontiers for checkpoint inhibitors is the treatment of Merkel cell carcinoma, a rare but aggressive type of cancer.
First-line therapy with pembrolizumab (Keytruda)—an anti–PD-1 (programmed cell death protein 1) inhibitor—achieved an objective response...