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ASCO 2021 | Adjuvant and neoadjuvant immunotherapy in MCC

Paul Nghiem, MD, PhD, University of Washington Medical Center, Seattle, WA, discusses the use of immunotherapy in merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) in the adjuvant and neoadjuvant setting, an exciting area of investigation currently. Adjuvant immunotherapy is a young field with little data available to date. Several clinical trials assessing adjuvant immunotherapy are currently ongoing, with early data likely to emerge in the next few years. On the other hand, there is data to suggest that neoadjuvant immunotherapies are effective; promising response rates were seen in the CheckMate 358 trial (NCT02488759) investigating neoadjuvant nivolumab in advanced MCC. However, Prof. Nghiem highlights that for patients who respond well to immunotherapy in this setting, sequential surgery and radiation may not be the optimal approach and thus, upfront immunotherapy may be a more likely approach than neoadjuvant. This interview took place at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2021 Virtual Meeting.

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