2018. Bharmal M et al. – Comparative effectiveness of avelumab versus chemotherapy in Merkel cell carcinoma: Innovative use of patient insights

 

Bharmal M, Marrel A, Hennessy M, Fofana F, Lambert J, Arnould B. Comparative effectiveness of avelumab versus chemotherapy in Merkel cell carcinoma: Innovative use of patient insights. J Comp Eff Res. 2018 Sep;7(9):881-890.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30107762

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Abstract

AIM. To assess patient experience with chemotherapy and avelumab in metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma (mMCC).

METHODS. In the JAVELIN Merkel 200 trial, chemotherapy-refractory mMCC patients could participate in optional qualitative interviews at baseline documenting recollection of previous chemotherapy experience, and at weeks 13/25 documenting current experience with avelumab. Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy subscale for melanoma questionnaire (FACT-M) was administered in parallel.

RESULTS. In our sample, chemotherapy was associated with an unpleasant experience. On selected FACT-M items addressing chemotherapy-impacted concepts, most patients receiving avelumab were improved or stable; few worsened. In addition, a few patients spontaneously reported experiencing less toxicity with avelumab than experienced during previous chemotherapy.

CONCLUSION. This approach merging qualitative and quantitative data suggests that mMCC patients report a better experience with avelumab than with chemotherapy.