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Results from the NeoAvAx clinical trial were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Genitourinary (ASCO GU) Symposium last week. The study showed that the combination of the PD-L1 inhibitor avelumab and the tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) axitinib showed promise as a neoadjuvant therapy for patients with high-risk, non-metastatic clear-cell renal cell carcinoma (RCC).
Neoadjuvant treatment is medication that is given before surgery to try to shrink the cancer, making it easier to remove. In this phase 2 study, neoadjuvant avelumab/axitinib caused a partial response in 12 (30%) of 40 patients and the average reduction in the size of the tumour was 20%. Of those patients who had a partial response, 10 were free from cancer at the end of the study. After an average follow-up of nearly 2 years, the overall survival time had not been reached and no patients had progression of their tumour.
The combination of avelumab and axitinib is currently approved for use in the NHS as a first-line treatment for patients with advanced RCC.