Avelumab ‘opens up the door’ for immunotherapy in trophoblastic disease
A study presented during the ASCO2020 Virtual Scientific Program showed ‘impressive’ use of immunotherapy for gestational trophoblastic disease, Ursula A. Matulonis, MD, of Dana Farber Cancer Institute, told Healio.
You et al showed results of their study using avelumab (Bavencio; EMD Serono, Pfizer), an anti-PD-L1 treatment, to treat trophoblastic tumors resistant to previous chemotherapy.
“They give rationale for using anti-PD L1 therapy in this patient population because of the observation of a spontaneous regression of metastatic gestational trophoblastic disease and also the fact that PD-L1 is constitutively expressed in pre-malignant and malignant trophoblastic subtypes,” Matulonis said.
In the end, about 50% of patients showed successful HCG normalization, she said.
“There was a nice example of a patient who had previously been on methotrexate and went on avelumab on this study, normalized her HCG, waited a year and had a successful pregnancy,” Matulonis said. “Single agent avelumab is impressive. ... Overall, it’s a well-tolerated drug. Certainly, this opens up the door to additional immunotherapy strategies for this disease.”