Please note that this summary only contains information from the full scientific abstract: View ESMO Scientific Abstract

Long-term versus shorter-term avelumab treatment in people with advanced non-small cell lung cancer

Date of summary: September 2019

Study number: NCT01772004


Study start date: January 2013


Estimated study end date: October 2019


The full title of this abstract is: Long-term avelumab treatment in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC): post hoc analyses from JAVELIN Solid Tumor

This study drug is not approved to treat the condition under study that is discussed in this summary.


Researchers must look at the results of many types of studies to understand whether a study drug works, how it works, and whether it is safe to prescribe to patients.

This summary reports the results of only one study. The results of this study might be different from the results of other studies that the researchers look at.


More information can be found in the scientific abstract of this study, which you can access here:
View ESMO Scientific Abstract

What did this study look at?

  • Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC for short) is the most common type of lung cancer.
    • Advanced NSCLC is cancer that may have spread from the lung to nearby tissues or more distant parts of the body.
  • Avelumab is not currently approved to treat NSCLC.
  • Avelumab is an immunotherapy drug, which means it uses the body’s own immune (defense) system to find and destroy cancer cells.
    • Avelumab attaches to a protein called PD-L1, which is found on tumor cells.
    • PD-L1 “hides” tumor cells from the immune system.
    • When avelumab attaches to PD-L1, tumor cells are exposed. This may allow the body’s immune cells to attack and destroy the tumor cells.
  • This study looked at people with advanced NSCLC who took avelumab as a study treatment either for:
    • up to 2 years, or
    • more than 2 years.
  • The researchers thought that taking avelumab for more than 2 years could be a sign that the treatment was having long-term benefits.
  • This summary compares the characteristics of people with advanced NSCLC who took avelumab for up to 2 years with people who took avelumab for more than 2 years.

Who took part in this study?

What were the results of the study?

  • At the start of the study, the researchers measured the level of PD-L1 proteins on people’s tumor cells.
  • The number of PD-L1 proteins on tumor cells was similar between the study groups.
  • There were some differences between the study groups in their clinical characteristics at the start of the study.

More results from this study can be found here:
View ESMO Scientific Abstract

What was the main conclusion reported by the researchers?

  • In this study, the people who took avelumab for more than 2 years as a first or second treatment for advanced NSCLC, and had a long-term benefit, had some characteristics in common.
    •  At the start of the study, a higher percentage of people in this group:
      • were fully able to perform their daily activities
      • had cancer that got worse at a slow rate
      • had already received radiation therapy, and
      • had already benefited from previous chemotherapy.

Who sponsored this study?

Pfizer Inc.
235 East 42nd Street NY, NY 10017
Phone (United States): +1 212-733-2323

EMD Serono, Inc.
An affliate of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
One Technology Place Rockland, MA 02370
Phone (United States Headquarters): +1 800 283-8088

The sponsors would like to thank all of the
people who took part in this study.

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