Neoadjuvant Nivolumab Potentially Beneficial in Merkel Cell Carcinoma
In patients with Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC), Nivolumab administered approximately 4 weeks prior to surgery induced pathologic complete responses and radiographic tumor regressions in approximately half of patients treated, according to clinical trial results published in Journal of Clinical Oncology.
In the phase I/II CheckMate 358 study, 39 patients with stage IIA-IV resectable MCC received nivolumab 240 mg intravenously on days 1 and 15, and 36 patients underwent surgery on day 29. Three patients did not have surgery due to tumor progression (n = 1) or adverse events (n = 2).
Of the patients with had surgery, a pathologic complete response was reported in 42.2%. More than half of the 33 patients who had evaluable radiographs experienced tumor reductions ≥ 30%.
Any-grade treatment-related adverse events occurred in 18 patients (46.2%), and grade 3-4 events in 3 patients (7.7%), with no unexpected toxicities.
Topalian SL, Bhatia B, Amin A, et al. Neoadjuvant nivolumab for patients with resectable Merkel cell carcinoma in the CheckMate 358 trial. J Clin Oncol. 2020;doi:10.1200/JCO.20.00201.