A trial looking at avelumab and chemotherapy for bowel cancer (POLEM)
The US-based phase 3 ATOMIC trial is asking whether the addition of immunotherapy to adjuvant chemotherapy improves outcomes for patients with MSI+ stage 3 disease (NCT02912559). The UK based POLEM trial asks the same question and includes POLE mutant as well as MSI+ subjects.
Surgery is a common treatment for bowel cancer that hasn’t spread to a distant part of the body. After surgery, you might have chemotherapy to lower the chances of the cancer coming back. This is called adjuvant treatment Open a glossary item.
In this trial, researchers are looking at whether adding a drug called avelumab to chemotherapy improves chemotherapy after surgery.
Avelumab (Bavencio) is a type of immunotherapy. It targets and blocks a protein called PD-L1 on the surface of the tumour and certain immune cells. Blocking PD-L1 activates the immune cells to find and kill the cancer.
Everyone taking part in this trial has one of the following treatments after surgery:
chemotherapy and avelumab
The chemotherapy treatment you have in this trial is one of the following:
capecitabine and oxaliplatin (CAPOX)