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Combination of Avelumab/Axitinib Approved by FDA for Advanced Renal Cell Carcinoma

By: Sarah Jackson
Posted: Thursday, May 16, 2019

On May 14, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved avelumab (Bavencio) in combination with axitinib (Inlyta) for the first-line treatment of patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma. This is the first FDA approval for an anti–PD-L1 therapy as part of a combination regimen for patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma.

The approval of avelumab in combination with axitinib was based on results from the phase III JAVELIN Renal 101 study ( identifier NCT02684006). The combination therapy significantly improved median progression-free survival compared with sunitinib by more than 5 months in the intent-to-treat patient population. The intent-to-treat population included patients regardless of PD-L1 expression and across International Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma Database prognostic risk groups.

“As we look to continue to improve outcomes for people with advanced [renal cell carcinoma], new treatment approaches have the potential to benefit patients,” said Robert J. Motzer, MD, Jack and Dorothy Byrne Chair in Clinical Oncology, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, and principal investigator for JAVELIN Renal 101. “With the FDA approval of avelumab in combination with axitinib, we can now offer patients with advanced [renal cell carcinoma] a first-line treatment option that combines a PD-L1 immunotherapy with a well-known [vascular endothelial growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor] to provide a significant reduction in the risk of disease progression or death and doubling of the response rate compared with sunitinib.”

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