Several weeks after approving avelumab to treat a rare form of skin cancer, the FDA authorized its use for patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial cancer who haven’t responded to platinum-based chemotherapy.
Marketed as Bavencio, the drug was approved in March for adults and adolescents aged 12 years or older with Merkel cell cancer. Avelumab is a checkpoint inhibitor that blocks the programmed death ligand 1 protein on cancer cells from binding with its receptor, rendering the cells susceptible to attack by the immune system. The drug is administered intravenously.
Voelker R. Immunotherapy for Bladder Cancer. JAMA. 2017;317(23):2363. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.6976