What is the role of avelumab in the treatment of Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC)?

Updated: Jan 18, 2019
  • Author: Arjun S Joshi, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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Answer

Answer

Avelumab (Bavencio), an anti–programmed death ligand-1 (anti-PD-L1) immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) monoclonal antibody, was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in March 2017 for metastatic MCC in adults and pediatric patients aged 12 years or older.

Approval of avelumab was based on the JAVELIN Merkel 200 open-label, single-arm, multicenter study in 88 patients in whom metastatic MCC had been histologically confirmed and in whom the disease had progressed on or after administration of chemotherapy for distant metastatic disease. The overall response rate reached 33% (29 patients), partial response was 22%, and complete response was 11%. Eight-six percent of tumor responses lasted at least 6 months (25 patients), and 45% lasted at least 12 months (13 patients). Response duration lasted from 2.8 to over 23.3 months. [35]


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