Public Release: 

Immunotherapy for Merkel cell carcinoma -- novel research highlights quality of life benefits

Researchers have presented the association between tumor response and health-related quality of life in patients with metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma treated with avelumab.

Future Science Group

11th December 2017

Future Science Group (FSG) today announced the publication of an article in Future Oncology that has demonstrated in patients with metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma (mMCC), non-progression during treatment with the anti-PD-L1 immunotherapy avelumab correlates with gains in health-related quality of life (HRQoL).

"MCC is a potentially devastating disease with few therapeutic options for patients until recently. The approval of avelumab and targeting the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway for patients with MCC has provided an important new option, with some patients achieving durable responses with a tolerable safety profile," the authors explained.

In this study, the researchers utilized data from the JAVELIN Merkel 200 Phase II trial. By analyzing these data, the team was able to demonstrate that the reduction of tumor size experienced under treatment with avelumab correlated with improvements in patients' health status, as measured by both generic and skin cancer-specific HRQoL instruments.

"Now we have evidence that treatment with immunotherapy, such as avelumab, may be associated with an improvement in patient quality of life that also appears to be coordinated with lack of disease progression. Our study adds new insights into an important patient-reported outcome that further supports the significance of immunotherapy in patients with MCC," the authors stated.

"MCC is a very aggressive form of skin cancer; therefore, it is surprising that there is a lack of consensus on the most effective treatment strategy", commented Commissioning Editor for Future Oncology, Rachel Jenkins. "Following on from this, immunotherapy is a key area right now so it is exciting to see that avelumab has shown promise in delaying MCC progression and improving quality of life."

The full research article is available here:

You can also access the full article plus related-exclusive content on Oncology Central:


About Future Oncology

Future Oncology is a MEDLINE-indexed journal, with an impact factor of 2.131. The journal covers the latest scientific and clinical issues, together with the economic and policy issues of relevance to oncologists. The journal delivers essential information in concise, at-a-glance article formats - vital in delivering information to an increasingly time-constrained community.

About Future Science Group

Founded in 2001, Future Science Group (FSG) is a progressive publisher focused on breakthrough medical, biotechnological, and scientific research. FSG's portfolio includes two imprints, Future Science and Future Medicine. Both publish eBooks and journals. In addition to this core publishing business FSG develops specialist eCommunities. Key titles and sites include Bioanalysis Zone, Epigenomics, Nanomedicine and the award-winning Regenerative Medicine. The aim of FSG is to service the advancement of clinical practice and drug research by enhancing the efficiency of communications among clinicians, researchers and decision-makers, and by providing innovative solutions to their information needs. This is achieved through a customer-centric approach, use of new technologies, products that deliver value-for-money and uncompromisingly high standards.

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