JAVELIN is a phase 1 trial of a new drug called avelumab in 31 people with classical Hodgkin lymphoma that had come back or not responded to previous treatment. Results of the trial were published last month in Blood Advances.
Everybody who took part in the trial had either already had a stem cell transplant, or were not able to have one. Most people had had at least four previous courses of treatment.
Avelumab is a type of targeted drug called a checkpoint inhibitor. Some lymphoma cells are able to hide from your immune system by sticking to a protein on T cells that tells the T cell not to attack. Checkpoint inhibitors block this protein. This means your T cells are able to recognise and attack the lymphoma cells.
In the JAVELIN trial, avelumab blocked its target protein very effectively. Overall, 4 in 10 people responded to avelumab and the treatment was well tolerated. The most common side effects were:
- flu-like symptoms when the treatment was injected
- feeling sick
- changes in liver function (found on blood tests)
- skin rash
Avelumab is being studied further in a trial called AVENuE, in people with advanced Hodgkin lymphoma who have not been treated before.
Date published: 18 October 2021