Ovarian cancer is a common type of cancer arising from different types of ovarian tissue in the female reproductive system. It is the sixth most common cancer in women in the UK. The ovaries are a pair of small organs located in the pelvis and are part of the female reproductive system. Usually women who have been through menopause are more likely to be affected by ovarian cancer. Most cases are caused by gene changes that develop during a woman’s life and are not inherited. Treatment of ovarian cancer involves surgery and/or chemotherapy depending on the stage at diagnosis. Most patients with ovarian cancer are diagnosed at an advanced stage and will require chemotherapy. However, most women ultimately relapse and/or become resistant (refractory) to common first-line chemotherapy treatment. Thus, there is a common need in this cancer to consider the use of second-line treatment.
Avelumab is in development for the second-line treatment of ovarian cancer when used either alone or in addition to the chemotherapy drug, Pegylated Liposomal Doxorubicin (PLD). Avelumab acts by preventing cancer cells from switching off T cells (cells of the immune system), which increases the ability of the T cells to kill the cancer cells. It is to be administered as an intravenous infusion. If licensed, avelumab may offer a second-line treatment option for patients with ovarian cancer, whose disease has relapsed or has become refractory after the first treatment.
Atezolizumab is currently in clinical development for the treatment of patients muscle-invasive urothelial cancer (MIUC) including muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) and upper tract urothelial cancer (UTUC) patients who are at high risk following resection. MIBC is a cancer that spreads into the thick muscle deep in the bladder wall. MIBC starts in the inner bladder layer and then grows in the deep muscle. While UTUC can arise along any part of the urinary tract lined with urothelium with the majority of cases in the lower tract and rest in the upper tract. Over time the tumour may grow outside the bladder into tissues close by and then may spread to lymph nodes, the lungs, the liver and other parts of the body. The current standard care of treatment includes a surgery which might not be adequate and some patients might be at high risk for recurrence.