Real-world treatment outcomes in patients with metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma treated with chemotherapy in the USA

Future Oncol. 2017 Aug;13(19):1699-1710. doi: 10.2217/fon-2017-0187. Epub 2017 Jun 13.


Aim: This retrospective study of patients in the USA with metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma (mMCC) aimed to assess patient responses to second-line and later (2L+) and first-line (1L) chemotherapy.

Patients & methods: Out of 686 patients with MCC identified in The US Oncology Network, 20 and 67 patients with mMCC qualified for the 2L+ and 1L study, respectively; the primary analysis population was restricted to immunocompetent patients.

Results: In the 2L+ primary analysis population, objective response rate (ORR) was 28.6%, median duration of response (DOR) was 1.7 months and median progression-free survival was 2.2 months. In the 1L primary analysis population, ORR was 29.4%, median DOR was 6.7 months and median progression-free survival was 4.6 months.

Conclusion: The low ORR and brief DOR underscore the need for novel therapies.

Keywords: Merkel cell carcinoma; chemotherapy; immunotherapy.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Merkel Cell / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Merkel Cell / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Merkel Cell / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Retreatment
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome