By targeting platinum resistant Ovarian cancer, Avelumab is a new anti-PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitor on the Cancer block. This just affirms how PD-L1 receptor is seen as the current breakthrough therapeutic target in Immuno-Oncology.
Program-Death ligand 1 (PD-L1) is already a common target for mAbs in immuno-oncology. If expressed on the tumor cells, this enables the cancer to form ligands (attachments) with PD-1 receptors on T-cells, therefore inhibiting their proliferation (and ‘attack mode’).
Engineering mAbs to block these PD-L1 receptors on cancer cells therefore disables this tumor cell self-masking mechanism. Read our review on how biotech has changed the field of Immuno-Oncology to better understand the implications of such treatments when compared to Chemo and radiotherapies.
This has proven to be an effective target area for immuno-oncology, particularly in the case of Keytruda (the anti-PD-1 drug pembrolizumab). This FDA approved drug has been licensed by MSD (Merck & Co.) for treatment of various indications,