From the Journals

Avelumab safety compares with other checkpoint inhibitors

Key clinical point: The immune checkpoint inhibitor avelumab appears to be well tolerated with a manageable safety profile.

Major finding: In all, 67% of patients had a treatment-related adverse event, and 10.2% had ones that were grade 3 or greater.

Study details: Safety analysis of pooled data on 1,738 patients treated with avelumab in a phase 1 and a phase 2 clinical trial.

Disclosures: The study was sponsored by Merck and part of an alliance between Merck and Pfizer. Dr. Kelly reported no conflicts of interest. Multiple coauthors reported research funding, consulting fees, honoraria, or other consideration from various companies, and several coauthors are Merck employees.

Source: Kelly K et al. Cancer. 2018 Feb 22. doi: 10.1002/cncr.31293.

 


 

FROM CANCER

The immune checkpoint inhibitor avelumab (Bavencio), targeted against programmed cell death protein 1 and its ligand (PD1/PD-L1), appears to be well tolerated with a manageable safety profile, pooled data from two clinical trials suggest.

Of the 1,738 patients enrolled in the phase 1 JAVELIN solid tumor trial and the phase 2 JAVELIN Merkel 200 trial, 1,164 (67%) had a treatment-related adverse event (TRAE), and 177 (10.2%) had grade 3 or greater TRAEs. Grade 3 or greater immune-related adverse events (irAEs) occurred in just 2.2% of patients, reported Karen Kelly, MD, from the University of California, Davis, and her colleagues.

“Although conclusions drawn from cross-study comparisons should be made with caution, and to the best of our knowledge the number of pan-tumor clinical studies of [immune checkpoint inhibitor] monotherapy is limited, this analysis of a large population of patients across a broad scope of tumor types suggests that avelumab was associated with an incidence of irAEs that is consistent with that of other ICIs,” they wrote in Cancer.

Adverse events common with other immune checkpoint inhibitors include low-grade fatigue, pruritus, and rash, as well as serious irAEs, including high-grade pneumonitis and autoimmune-like side effects, the authors noted.

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