An evaluation of avelumab for the treatment of genitourinary tumors

Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2020 Sep;20(9):971-979. doi: 10.1080/14712598.2020.1769596. Epub 2020 Jun 3.


Introduction: The immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) programmed cell death protein and ligands 1 (PD1- and PD-L1) as well as cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4 have demonstrated clinical efficacy in genitourinary cancer. While different ICI exist, focus of the current study work was to evaluate the PD-L1 antibody avelumab within this framework of ICI.

Areas covered: The manuscript reviews the pharmacological characteristics and preclinical and clinical data of avelumab in the treatment for advanced or metastatic genitourinary cancers. It highlights its respective clinical relevance and special features in the context of the other available ICI.

Expert opinion: Avelumab has shown promising antitumor activity and a manageable safety profile in patients with mRCC and mUC as mono- and combination therapy. The approach of an avelumab maintenance therapy in mUC is promising and could become part of future clinical practice. Results of ICI used in the neoadjuvant or adjuvant setting are eagerly awaited. Avelumab's uniqueness is its capacity to enhance antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity. Because of this, currently ongoing clinical trials investigate the combination of avelumab with other immune modulating agents like IL-12 and IL-15. Thereby, it can be assumed that avelumab will have an ongoing role in the treatment of patients with genitourinary tumors.

Keywords: Avelumab; genitourinary tumors; immune checkpoint inhibitor; pd-L1; renal cell carcinoma; urothelial cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / immunology
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / metabolism
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized / therapeutic use*
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological / immunology
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological / metabolism
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological / therapeutic use*
  • B7-H1 Antigen / immunology
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Half-Life
  • Humans
  • Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Urogenital Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Urogenital Neoplasms / pathology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological
  • B7-H1 Antigen
  • Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors
  • avelumab