Ovarian Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Treatment With Avelumab in Resistant Ovarian Cancer

By: Alison Tewksbury
Posted: Monday, March 25, 2019

For women with progressive advanced ovarian cancer, especially disease that has become resistant to platinum-based chemotherapy, current treatment options are limited. Mary L. Disis, MD, of the University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, and colleagues published findings of a phase Ib study (JAVELIN Solid Tumor) in JAMA Oncology. “Avelumab demonstrated anti-tumor activity and acceptable safety in heavily pretreated patients with recurrent or refractory ovarian cancer,” concluded the researchers.

Patients who had advanced ovarian cancer and previously had received chemotherapy, including a platinum- based agent, were enrolled in the study. Of 125 women in the expansion cohort, 28 patients received avelumab as a fourth-line treatment, and 22 patients received avelumab as fifth-line treatment. Participants received avelumab every 2 weeks until disease progression, toxicity, or withdrawal from study.

A confirmed objective response was seen in 12 patients (9.6 %), with a complete response in 1 patient (0.8 %).The median progression-free survival was 2.6 months, and 10.2 % of patients saw a progression-free survival of 1 year. The median overall survival was 11.2 months. 

Adverse events included infusion-related reactions (20 %), fatigue (13.6 %), diarrhea (12.0 %), and nausea (11.2 %). Grade 3 or higher adverse events occurred in 7.2 % of patients, and 16.8 % of patients experienced an immune-related adverse event of any grade.

Although this study demonstrates the potential of avelumab as a monotherapy, further studies are underway to determine whether greater efficacy can be achieved by using avelumab in combination with chemotherapy.

Disclosure: The study authors’ disclosures can be found at jamanetwork.com.

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