Urothelial carcinoma remains a devastating disease with a poor prognosis. Though immune therapy with Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) has been used for localized bladder cancer for years, only immune-checkpoint blockade with antiprogrammed cell-death 1 (anti-PD-1) and antiprogrammed cell-death ligand 1 (anti-PD-L1) inhibitors have demonstrated improvement in survival of patients with metastatic disease. Anti-PD-L1 antibody, avelumab, was recently given United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accelerated approval for the treatment of recurrent/metastatic urothelial carcinoma after failure of first-line chemotherapy, marking the fifth immune checkpoint inhibitor to be given FDA approval for the treatment of metastatic urothelial cancer. The following manuscript will review avelumab, its pharmacology, and the clinical experience that has led to its approval, as well as future plans for clinical development of avelumab for the treatment or urothelial cancer.
PubMed: MeSH publication types
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