How I Do It: Maintenance avelumab for advanced urothelial carcinoma.
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For more than four decades, platinum-based chemotherapy regimens have served as the established standard-of-care for advanced urothelial carcinoma (aUC). However, advancements in our understanding of cancer biology and tumor microenvironment have reshaped the therapeutic landscape and prognosis of this incurable disease. Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) that target programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) and programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1) are firmly established tools in aUC management, leading to enhanced life span and improved quality of life for patients. In patients who achieved stable disease or better following platinum-based chemotherapy, maintenance therapy with the PD-L1 antibody avelumab significantly enhanced overall survival (OS) by approximately 7 months compared to best supportive care in the phase 3 JAVELIN Bladder 100 trial. As a result, avelumab received FDA approval in June 2020 as a maintenance therapy for aUC patients treated with first-line platinum-based chemotherapy. Therefore, aUC care plans should incorporate maintenance avelumab into standard first-line treatment regimens for these patients. The objective of this brief article is to provide insight into the utilization of avelumab, identify patients who may benefit from this treatment, and review the methodology, advantages, potential side effects and their management.
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