Journal for Immunotherapy of Cancer | 15 October 2020
Alison M Weppler, Andrew Pattison, Prachi Bhave, Paolo De Ieso, Jeanette Raleigh, Athena Hatzimihalis, Anthony J Gill, Shiva Balachander, Jason Callahan, Margaret Chua, George Au-Yeung, Grant A McArthur, Rodney J Hicks, Richard W Tothill, Shahneen Sandhu

Medical records of patients with metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors from August 2015 to December 2018 at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Australia were analysed. Response was assessed with serial imaging, RNA sequencing and immunohistochemistry. Immune checkpoint inhibitors showed efficacy and safety in metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma consistent with trial data; with durable responses that persisted even after treatment discontinuation. 

Future Oncology | 17 September 2020
Murtuza Bharmal , Sandra Nolte , Céleste Lebbé, Laurent Mortier, Andrew S Brohl, Nicola Fazio, Jean-Jacquez Grob, Sara Pusceddu, Glenn J Hanna, Jessica C Hassel , Felix Kiecker, Barbara Ellers-Lenz, Marcis Bajars, Gülseren Güzel, Paul Nghiem, Matthias Hunger, Michael Schlichting, Mickaël Henry-Szatkowski & Sandra P D’Angelo

A Phase II trial (NCT02155647) reporting the trajectory of self-reported health-related quality of life scores as well as health-related quality of life deterioration-free survival based on 15-month follow-up data obtained from treatment-naive metastatic MCC patients. These findings show unique longitudinal HRQoL data for treatment-naive metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma patients treated with avelumab.

Asia‐Pacific Journal of Clinical Oncology | 05 August 2020
David L. Kok, Annie Wang, Wen Xu, Margaret S. T. Chua, Alexander Guminski, Michael Veness, Julie Howle, Richard Tothill, Ganessan Kichendasse, Michael Poulsen, Shahneen Sandhu and Gerald Fogarty

The arrival of immune checkpoint inhibitors and the mounting evidence that MCC is a highly immunogenic disease is transforming the treatment landscape for MCC. Australia is playing a key role in the further development of treatment options for MCC with two upcoming Australian/New Zealand investigator‐initiated clinical trials that will explore the interplay of RT and immunotherapy in the treatment of early and late stage MCC.

European Journal of Surgical Oncology | 15 May 2020
Angela M. Hong, Jonathan R. Stretch, John F. Thompson

Extensive surgery for locally advanced MCC may cause morbidity and disfigurement, compromise function and delay adjuvant therapy. Since MCC is a highly radiosensitive tumour, an alternative treatment option for advanced MCCs, especially those in anatomically challenging locations, is radiotherapy. Complete and durable control is achieved in up to 90% of cases if the definitive treatment of primary MCC is with radiotherapy. It is generally less morbid than surgery and can produce excellent cosmetic and functional outcomes.

Avelumab in patients with previously treated metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma: long-term data and biomarker analyses from the single-arm phase 2 JAVELIN Merkel 200 trial

Journal for Immunotherapy of Cancer | 15 May 2020
DOI: 10.1136/jitc-2020-000674
Clinical trial information: NCT02155647
Sandra P D’AngeloShailender BhatiaAndrew S BrohlOmid HamidJanice M MehnertPatrick TerheydenKent C ShihIsaac BrownellCeleste LebbéKarl D LewisGerald P LinetteMichele MilellaSara GeorgesParantu ShahBarbara Ellers-LenzMarcis BajarsGülseren GüzelPaul T Nghiem

In 2017, avelumab (anti-programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1)) became the first approved treatment for patients with metastatic MCC (mMCC), based on the occurrence of durable responses in a subset of patients. Here, we report long-term efficacy and safety data and exploratory biomarker analyses in patients with mMCC treated with avelumab. Avelumab showed continued durable responses and meaningful long-term survival outcomes in patients with mMCC, reinforcing avelumab as a standard-of-care treatment option for this disease.

Two-year efficacy and safety update from JAVELIN Merkel 200 part A: A registrational study of avelumab in metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma progressed on chemotherapy

Journal of Clinical Oncology | 01 June 2018
DOI: 10.1200/JCO.2018.36.15_suppl.9507
Paul Nghiem, Shailender Bhatia, Andrew Scott Brohl, Omid Hamid, Janice M. Mehnert, Patrick Terheyden, Kent C. Shih, Isaac Brownell, Celeste Lebbé, Karl D. Lewis, Gerald P. Linette, Michele Milella, Meliessa Hennessy, Marcis Bajars, Christine Hicking, Sandra P. D’Angelo

Here, we report updated efficacy and safety data from part A of the pivotal, single-arm, phase 2, JAVELIN Merkel 200 trial of avelumab in patients (pts) with mMCC and ≥2 y of follow-up. At ≥2 y of follow-up, avelumab shows continued durable responses and meaningful survival outcomes in pts with mMCC, exceeding the outcomes associated with cytotoxic chemotherapy.


Avelumab for Merkel cell carcinoma


Australian Prescriber | 27 September 2016

Avelumab is an immune checkpoint inhibitor that has received approval for the treatment of metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma. In Australia the approval of avelumab for Merkel cell carcinoma is based on one uncontrolled, open-label, phase II study. This enrolled 88 patients who had already been treated for metastatic disease.



The Lancet Oncology | 01 September 2016
Howard L Kaufman, Jeffery Russell, Omid Hamid, Shailender Bhatia, Patrick Terheyden, Sandra P D’Angelo, Kent C Shih, Prof Céleste Lebbé, Gerald P Linette, Michele Milella, Isaac Brownell, Karl D Lewis, Jochen H Lorch, Kevin Chin, Lisa Mahnke, Anja von Heydebreck, Jean-Marie Cuillerot, Prof Paul Nghiem

In this multicentre, international, prospective, single-group, open-label, phase 2 trial, patients with stage IV chemotherapy-refractory, histologically confirmed Merkel cell carcinoma (aged ≥18 years) were enrolled from 35 cancer treatment centres and academic hospitals in North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. Avelumab was associated with durable responses, most of which are still ongoing, and was well tolerated; hence, avelumab represents a new therapeutic option for advanced Merkel cell carcinoma.

Merkel cell carcinoma
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Melanoma and Skin Cancer Trials
Mailing address:

Melanoma and Skin Cancer Trials
553 St Kilda Road
Melbourne, VIC 3004, Australia

General enquiries: