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BAVENCIO® (avelumab) is an immunotherapy—a medicine that may help your immune system fight metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma (mMCC)

BAVENCIO is used after MCC has spread to other parts of your body, or metastasized

BAVENCIO is a man-made antibody. Your body naturally produces antibodies to help your immune system work.

BAVENCIO was the first medicine that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved to treat metastatic MCC in adults and children ages 12 and older.

BAVENCIO is delivered by an intravenous (IV) infusion directly into your bloodstream.

A clinical trial tested if BAVENCIO could help patients with MCC who had already received chemotherapy for cancer that had spread

33%

of patients (29 of 88) in the trial saw their tumors get smaller

  • 11% of patients (10 of 88) saw their tumors disappear (complete response)
  • 22% of patients (19 of 88) saw their tumors shrink (partial response)

Among patients whose tumors got smaller (29 of 88 patients)…

86%of cases (25 of 29 patients) had an ongoing effect for at least 6 months or longer

45%of cases (13 of 29 patients) had an ongoing effect for at least 1 year or longer

The minimum duration of this effect was 2.8 months and maximum duration of this effect was over 23.3 months

What is the most important information I should know about BAVENCIO?

BAVENCIO can cause your immune system to attack normal organs and tissues and can affect the way they work. These problems can sometimes become serious or life-threatening and can lead to death.

Understanding Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC), a rare skin cancer that can spread quickly

Of the about 2,500 Americans diagnosed with MCC each year, approximately 10% of them will have metastatic disease at diagnosis.

For comparison, over 80,000 Americans are diagnosed each year with melanoma, a more common skin cancer.

Over time, cancers such as MCC can spread to other parts of your body.

When additional tumors appear or existing ones spread, this process is called metastasis, and the new tumors are called metastases.

Tumors are usually firm, painless, and grow quickly. They are often red or purple.

MCC usually develops on areas of the skin that are exposed when you are outside, such as your head, neck, arms, and legs.

If your doctor suspects that a mole or skin tumor might be cancerous, a procedure called a biopsy can be used to find out for sure.

To do a biopsy, your doctor removes some or all of the suspicious mole or tumor, and then sends it to a lab for testing.

In the lab, doctors use a variety of tests to find out if the sample is cancerous and, if it is, exactly what kind of cancer it is.

There are a number of ways to treat this type of cancer. Four common treatments are:

  • Surgery, which removes cancer cells from the body
  • Chemotherapy, which kills cancer cells
  • Radiation therapy, which uses high-energy radiation on cancer cells
  • Immunotherapy, which helps your immune system kill cancer cells

Your doctor may also consider whether a clinical trial is right for you.

People with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop MCC. For example, people who have a disease like leukemia or HIV/AIDS may have weakened immune systems. People who have received organ transplants may also have weakened immune systems.

Time in the sun increases the risk of developing MCC.

MCC is most common in older people (around age 75).

Having a Merkel cell polyomavirus infection can increase the risk of developing MCC, and although this infection is common, it mostly does not cause cancer.