Publications by authors named "Mario Sznol"

140 Publications

Bempegaldesleukin Plus Nivolumab in First-Line Metastatic Melanoma.

J Clin Oncol 2021 Jul 13:JCO2100675. Epub 2021 Jul 13.

Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT.

Purpose: Therapies that produce deep and durable responses in patients with metastatic melanoma are needed. This phase II cohort from the international, single-arm PIVOT-02 study evaluated the CD122-preferential interleukin-2 pathway agonist bempegaldesleukin (BEMPEG) plus nivolumab (NIVO) in first-line metastatic melanoma.

Methods: A total of 41 previously untreated patients with stage III/IV melanoma received BEMPEG 0.006 mg/kg plus NIVO 360 mg once every 3 weeks for ≤ 2 years; 38 were efficacy-evaluable (≥ 1 postbaseline scan). Primary end points were safety and objective response rate (blinded independent central review); other end points included progression-free survival, overall survival (OS), and exploratory biomarkers.

Results: At 29.0 months' median follow-up, the objective response rate was 52.6% (20 of 38 patients), and the complete response rate was 34.2% (13 of 38 patients). Median change in size of target lesions from baseline was -78.5% (response-evaluable population); 47.4% (18 of 38 patients) experienced complete clearance of target lesions. Median progression-free survival was 30.9 months (95% CI, 5.3 to not estimable). Median OS was not reached; the 24-month OS rate was 77.0% (95% CI, 60.4 to 87.3). Grade 3 and 4 treatment-related and immune-mediated adverse events occurred in 17.1% (7 of 41) and 4.9% (2 of 41) of patients, respectively. Increased polyfunctional responses in CD8+ and CD4+ T cells were seen in blood after treatment, driven by cytokines with effector functions. Early on-treatment blood biomarkers (CD8+ polyfunctional strength difference and eosinophils) correlated with treatment response.

Conclusion: BEMPEG in combination with NIVO was tolerated, with relatively low rates of grade 3 and 4 treatment-related and immune-mediated adverse events. The combination had encouraging antitumor activity in first-line metastatic melanoma, including an extended median progression-free survival. Exploratory analyses associated noninvasive, on-treatment biomarkers with response, before radiologic evidence was observed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.21.00675DOI Listing
July 2021

A phase I study of APX005M and cabiralizumab with/without nivolumab in patients with melanoma, kidney cancer or non-small cell lung cancer resistant to anti-PD-(L)1.

Clin Cancer Res 2021 Jun 17. Epub 2021 Jun 17.

Smilow Cancer Center, Yale School of Medicine.

Purpose: PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors are approved for multiple tumor types. However, resistance poses substantial clinical challenges.

Methods: We conducted a phase I trial of CD40 agonist APX005M (sotigalimab) and CSF1R inhibitor cabiralizumab with/without nivolumab using a 3+3 dose escalation design (NCT03502330). Patients were enrolled from June 2018-April 2019. Eligibility included biopsy-proven advanced melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), or renal cell carcinoma (RCC) patients who progressed on anti-PD-1/PD-L1. APX005M was dose escalated (0.03, 0.1, or 0.3 mg/kg IV) with a fixed dose of cabiralizumab with/without nivolumab every 2 weeks until disease progression or intolerable toxicity.

Results: Twenty-six patients (12 melanoma, 1 NSCLC, and 13 RCC) were enrolled in six cohorts, 17 on nivolumab-containing regimens. Median duration of follow-up was 21.3 months. The most common TRAEs were asymptomatic elevations of LDH (n=26), CK (n=25), AST (n=25), and ALT (n=19); periorbital edema (n=17), and fatigue (n=13). One DLT (acute respiratory distress syndrome) occurred in Cohort 2. RP2D was APX005M 0.3 mg/kg, cabiralizumab 4 mg/kg, and nivolumab 240 mg q2wk. Median days on treatment was 66 (range 23-443). Median cycles was 4.5 (range 2-21). One patient had unconfirmed partial response (4%), 8 stable disease (31%), 16 disease progression (62%), and 1 unevaluable (4%). Pro-inflammatory cytokines were upregulated 4 hours post-infusion. CD40 and M-CSF increased after therapy.

Conclusions: This first in-human study of patients with anti-PD-1/PD-L1-resistant tumors treated with dual macrophage-polarizing therapy, with or without nivolumab demonstrated safety and pharmacodynamic activity. Optimization of the dosing frequency and sequence of this combination is warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-21-0903DOI Listing
June 2021

Efficacy and Safety of Atezolizumab Plus Bevacizumab Following Disease Progression on Atezolizumab or Sunitinib Monotherapy in Patients with Metastatic Renal Cell Carcinoma in IMmotion150: A Randomized Phase 2 Clinical Trial.

Eur Urol 2021 May 5;79(5):665-673. Epub 2021 Mar 5.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: The use of immune checkpoint inhibitors combined with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-targeted therapy as second-line treatment for metastatic clear cell renal cancer (mRCC) has not been evaluated prospectively.

Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of atezolizumab + bevacizumab following disease progression on atezolizumab or sunitinib monotherapy in patients with mRCC.

Design, Setting, And Participants: IMmotion150 was a multicenter, randomized, open-label, phase 2 study of patients with untreated mRCC. Patients randomized to the atezolizumab or sunitinib arm who had investigator-assessed progression as per RECIST 1.1 could be treated with second-line atezolizumab + bevacizumab.

Intervention: Patients received atezolizumab 1200 mg intravenously (IV) plus bevacizumab 15 mg/kg IV every 3 wk following disease progression on either atezolizumab or sunitinib monotherapy.

Outcome Measurements And Statistical Analysis: The secondary endpoints analyzed during the second-line part of IMmotion150 included objective response rate (ORR), progression-free survival (PFS), and safety. PFS was examined using Kaplan-Meier methods.

Results And Limitations: Fifty-nine patients in the atezolizumab arm and 78 in the sunitinib arm were eligible, and 103 initiated second-line atezolizumab + bevacizumab (atezolizumab arm, n = 44; sunitinib arm, n = 59). ORR (95% confidence interval [CI]) was 27% (19-37%). The median PFS (95% CI) from the start of second line was 8.7 (5.6-13.7) mo. The median event follow-up duration was 19.4 (12.9-21.9) mo among the 25 patients without a PFS event. Eighty-six (83%) patients had treatment-related adverse events; 31 of 103 (30%) had grade 3/4 events. Limitations were the small sample size and selection for progressors.

Conclusions: The atezolizumab + bevacizumab combination had activity and was tolerable in patients with progression on atezolizumab or sunitinib. Further studies are needed to investigate sequencing strategies in mRCC.

Patient Summary: Patients with advanced kidney cancer whose disease had worsened during treatment with atezolizumab or sunitinib began second-line treatment with atezolizumab + bevacizumab. Tumors shrank in more than one-quarter of patients treated with this combination, and side effects were manageable.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.eururo.2021.01.003DOI Listing
May 2021

Resistance mechanisms to checkpoint inhibitors.

Curr Opin Immunol 2021 Apr 3;69:47-55. Epub 2021 Mar 3.

Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Medicine (Section of Medical Oncology), 333 Cedar St., P.O. Box 208032, New Haven, CT 06520, United States.

Although multiple immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) have been identified and tested in the clinic, antibodies blocking the PD-1/PD-L1 axis have produced the greatest impact on cancer treatment. Many potential mechanisms of treatment failure have been proposed from pre-clinical animal and human translational studies. Pre-clinical studies and clinical trials are underway to better understand how resistance arises and to develop strategies that can circumvent these resistance mechanisms and sensitize patients to anti-PD1/PD-L1 to improve clinical outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.coi.2021.02.001DOI Listing
April 2021

Molecular correlates of response to nivolumab at baseline and on treatment in patients with RCC.

J Immunother Cancer 2021 Mar;9(3)

Translational Medicine, Bristol Myers Squibb, Princeton, New Jersey, USA

Background: Nivolumab is an immune checkpoint inhibitor targeting the programmed death-1 receptor that improves survival in a subset of patients with clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). In contrast to other tumor types that respond to immunotherapy, factors such as programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) status and tumor mutational burden show limited predictive utility in ccRCC. To address this gap, we report here the first molecular characterization of nivolumab response using paired index lesions, before and during treatment of metastatic ccRCC.

Methods: We analyzed gene expression and T-cell receptor (TCR) clonality using lesion-paired biopsies provided in the CheckMate 009 trial and integrated the results with their PD-L1/CD4/CD8 status, genomic mutation status and serum cytokine assays. Statistical tests included linear mixed models, logistic regression models, Fisher's exact test, and Kruskal-Wallis rank-sum test.

Results: We identified transcripts related to response, both at baseline and on therapy, including several that are amenable to peripheral bioassays or to therapeutic intervention. At both timepoints, response was positively associated with T-cell infiltration but not associated with TCR clonality, and some non-Responders were highly infiltrated. Lower baseline T-cell infiltration correlated with elevated transcription of Wnt/β-catenin signaling components and hypoxia-regulated genes, including the Treg chemoattractant CCL28. On treatment, analysis of the non-responding patients whose tumors were highly T-cell infiltrated suggests association of the RIG-I-MDA5 pathway in their nivolumab resistance. We also analyzed our data using previous transcriptional classifications of ccRCC and found they concordantly identified a molecular subtype that has enhanced nivolumab response but is sunitinib-resistant.

Conclusion: Our study describes molecular characteristics of response and resistance to nivolumab in patients with metastatic ccRCC, potentially impacting patient selection and first-line treatment decisions.

Trial Registration Number: NCT01358721.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2020-001506DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7931766PMC
March 2021

Safety and efficacy of combination nivolumab plus ipilimumab in patients with advanced melanoma: results from a North American expanded access program (CheckMate 218).

Melanoma Res 2021 02;31(1):67-75

Division of Medical Oncology and Hematology, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

CheckMate 218, a North American expanded access program (EAP), investigated nivolumab plus ipilimumab in patients with advanced melanoma. Safety and efficacy, including 2-year survival in clinically relevant patient subgroups, are reported. Eligible patients were aged ≥18 years with unresectable stage III/IV melanoma, an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0/1, and no prior checkpoint inhibitors. Patients received nivolumab 1 mg/kg plus ipilimumab 3 mg/kg every 3 weeks for 4 cycles (induction) followed by nivolumab 3 mg/kg every 2 weeks (maintenance) until progression or unacceptable toxicity or a maximum of 48 weeks. Safety and overall survival (OS) data were collected. This EAP included 754 treated patients from the USA (n = 580) and Canada (n = 174). Median follow-up time was 17.8 months. All-grade and grade 3-4 treatment-related adverse events were reported in 96% and 53% of patients and led to treatment discontinuation in 36% and 26% of patients, respectively. OS rates at 12 and 24 months were 82% [95% confidence interval (CI) 79-84] and 70% (95% CI 66-74), respectively. Twenty-four-month OS rates were 63% in patients aged ≥75 years, 56% in patients with elevated lactate dehydrogenase levels, 73% in patients with BRAF wild-type tumors, 70% in patients with BRAF mutant tumors, and 56% in patients with mucosal melanoma. In this EAP, nivolumab plus ipilimumab demonstrated high survival rates and safety outcomes consistent with those from randomized clinical trials, further supporting the use of this combination for advanced melanoma across multiple subgroups.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CMR.0000000000000708DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7757740PMC
February 2021

Reversing Resistance to Checkpoint Inhibitors and Targeted Therapy in Metastatic Melanoma.

Authors:
Mario Sznol

Clin Adv Hematol Oncol 2020 Jul;18(7):408-410

Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.

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July 2020

Tebentafusp, A TCR/Anti-CD3 Bispecific Fusion Protein Targeting gp100, Potently Activated Antitumor Immune Responses in Patients with Metastatic Melanoma.

Clin Cancer Res 2020 11 18;26(22):5869-5878. Epub 2020 Aug 18.

Yale Cancer Center, Yale School of Medicine, Yale, Connecticut.

Purpose: Tebentafusp is a first-in-class bispecific fusion protein designed to target gp100 (a melanoma-associated antigen) through a high affinity T-cell receptor (TCR) binding domain and an anti-CD3 T-cell engaging domain, which redirects T cells to kill gp100-expressing tumor cells. Here, we report a multicenter phase I/II trial of tebentafusp in metastatic melanoma (NCT01211262) focusing on the mechanism of action of tebentafusp.

Patients And Methods: Eighty-four patients with advanced melanoma received tebentafusp. Treatment efficacy, treatment-related adverse events, and biomarker assessments were performed for blood-derived and tumor biopsy samples obtained at baseline and on-treatment.

Results: Tebentafusp was generally well-tolerated and active in both patients with metastatic uveal melanoma and patients with metastatic cutaneous melanoma. A 1-year overall survival rate of 65% was achieved for both patient cohorts. On-treatment cytokine measurements were consistent with the induction of IFNγ pathway-related markers in the periphery and tumor. Notably, tebentafusp induced an increase in serum CXCL10 (a T-cell attractant) and a reduction in circulating CXCR3 CD8 T cells together with an increase in cytotoxic T cells in the tumor microenvironment. Furthermore, increased serum CXCL10 or the appearance of rash (likely due to cytotoxic T cells targeting gp100-expressing skin melanocytes) showed a positive association with patient survival.

Conclusions: These data suggest that redirecting T cells using a gp100-targeting TCR/anti-CD3 bispecific fusion protein may provide benefit to patients with metastatic melanoma. Furthermore, the activity observed in these two molecularly disparate melanoma classes hints at the broad therapeutic potential of tebentafusp.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-1247DOI Listing
November 2020

Bempegaldesleukin plus nivolumab in untreated, unresectable or metastatic melanoma: Phase III PIVOT IO 001 study design.

Future Oncol 2020 Oct 29;16(28):2165-2175. Epub 2020 Jul 29.

Melanoma Institute Australia, The University of Sydney, Royal North Shore & Mater Hospital, St Leonards, NSW, Australia.

Nivolumab, a PD-1 inhibitor, has demonstrated prolonged survival benefit in patients with advanced melanoma. Bempegaldesleukin (BEMPEG; NKTR-214), a first-in-class CD122-preferential IL-2 pathway agonist, provides sustained signaling through the IL-2βγ receptor, which activates effector T and natural killer cells. In the Phase I/II PIVOT-02 trial, the combination of bempegaldesleukin plus nivolumab was well-tolerated and demonstrated clinical activity as first-line therapy in metastatic melanoma. Here, we describe the design of and rationale for the Phase III, global, randomized, open-label PIVOT IO 001 trial comparing bempegaldesleukin plus nivolumab with nivolumab alone in patients with previously untreated, unresectable or metastatic melanoma. Primary end points include objective response rate, progression-free survival and overall survival. Key secondary end points include further investigation of safety/tolerability, previously assessed in the PIVOT-02 trial. NCT03635983 (ClinicalTrials.gov).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/fon-2020-0351DOI Listing
October 2020

Mogamulizumab in Combination with Durvalumab or Tremelimumab in Patients with Advanced Solid Tumors: A Phase I Study.

Clin Cancer Res 2020 09 25;26(17):4531-4541. Epub 2020 Jun 25.

MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

Purpose: The study goal was to determine safety, antitumor activity, and pharmacodynamic profile of mogamulizumab, an anti-C-C chemokine receptor 4 (anti-CCR4) mAb targeting effector regulatory T cells (eTreg), in combination with mAb checkpoint inhibitors durvalumab or tremelimumab.

Patients And Methods: This was a multicenter, phase I, dose escalation study, followed by disease-specific cohort expansion (NCT02301130). Mogamulizumab dose escalation proceeded with concurrent dose escalation of durvalumab or tremelimumab in patients with advanced solid tumors. Cohort expansion occurred with mogamulizumab 1 mg/kg plus durvalumab 10 mg/kg or tremelimumab 10 mg/kg in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer.

Results: Forty patients were enrolled during dose escalation, followed by 24 patients during dose expansion. No dose-limiting toxicities occurred during dose escalation. No new or unexpected toxicities were seen. Tolerability, the primary endpoint, was acceptable utilizing mogamulizumab 1 mg/kg plus durvalumab or tremelimumab 10 mg/kg in the combined dose escalation and dose expansion cohorts (each = 19). At these doses, the objective response rate was 5.3% (95% confidence interval, 0.1%-26.0%; one partial response) with each combination treatment. At all doses, mogamulizumab treatment led to almost complete depletion of peripheral eTregs, as well as reduction of intratumoral Tregs in the majority of patients. There was no clear correlation of clinical response with peripheral or intratumoral reduction in CCR4 eTregs or with baseline degree of CCR4 expression.

Conclusions: Mogamulizumab in combination with durvalumab or tremelimumab did not result in potent antitumor efficacy in patients with advanced solid tumors. Tolerability of mogamulizumab 1 mg/kg combined with durvalumab or tremelimumab 10 mg/kg was acceptable.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-0328DOI Listing
September 2020

Bempegaldesleukin (NKTR-214) plus Nivolumab in Patients with Advanced Solid Tumors: Phase I Dose-Escalation Study of Safety, Efficacy, and Immune Activation (PIVOT-02).

Cancer Discov 2020 08 21;10(8):1158-1173. Epub 2020 May 21.

Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, New York.

This single-arm, phase I dose-escalation trial (NCT02983045) evaluated bempegaldesleukin (NKTR-214/BEMPEG), a CD122-preferential IL2 pathway agonist, plus nivolumab in 38 patients with selected immunotherapy-naïve advanced solid tumors (melanoma, renal cell carcinoma, and non-small cell lung cancer). Three dose-limiting toxicities were reported in 2 of 17 patients during dose escalation [hypotension ( = 1), hyperglycemia ( = 1), metabolic acidosis ( = 1)]. The most common treatment-related adverse events (TRAE) were flu-like symptoms (86.8%), rash (78.9%), fatigue (73.7%), and pruritus (52.6%). Eight patients (21.1%) experienced grade 3/4 TRAEs; there were no treatment-related deaths. Total objective response rate across tumor types and dose cohorts was 59.5% (22/37), with 7 complete responses (18.9%). Cellular and gene expression analysis of longitudinal tumor biopsies revealed increased infiltration, activation, and cytotoxicity of CD8 T cells, without regulatory T-cell enhancement. At the recommended phase II dose, BEMPEG 0.006 mg/kg plus nivolumab 360 mg every 3 weeks, the combination was well tolerated and demonstrated encouraging clinical activity irrespective of baseline PD-L1 status. SIGNIFICANCE: These data show that BEMPEG can be successfully combined with a checkpoint inhibitor as dual immunotherapy for a range of advanced solid tumors. Efficacy was observed regardless of baseline PD-L1 status and baseline levels of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, suggesting therapeutic potential for patients with poor prognostic risk factors for response to PD-1/PD-L1 blockade...
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/2159-8290.CD-19-1510DOI Listing
August 2020

Defining tumor resistance to PD-1 pathway blockade: recommendations from the first meeting of the SITC Immunotherapy Resistance Taskforce.

J Immunother Cancer 2020 03;8(1)

Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, United States

As the field of cancer immunotherapy continues to advance at a fast pace, treatment approaches and drug development are evolving rapidly to maximize patient benefit. New agents are commonly evaluated for activity in patients who had previously received a programmed death receptor 1 (PD-1)/programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) inhibitor as standard of care or in an investigational study. However, because of the kinetics and patterns of response to PD-1/PD-L1 blockade, and the lack of consistency in the clinical definitions of resistance to therapy, the design of clinical trials of new agents and interpretation of results remains an important challenge. To address this unmet need, the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer convened a multistakeholder taskforce-consisting of experts in cancer immunotherapy from academia, industry, and government-to generate consensus clinical definitions for resistance to PD-(L)1 inhibitors in three distinct scenarios: primary resistance, secondary resistance, and progression after treatment discontinuation. The taskforce generated consensus on several key issues such as the timeframes that delineate each type of resistance, the necessity for confirmatory scans, and identified caveats for each specific resistance classification. The goal of this effort is to provide guidance for clinical trial design and to support analyses of emerging molecular and cellular data surrounding mechanisms of resistance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2019-000398DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7174063PMC
March 2020

Survival after checkpoint inhibitors for metastatic acral, mucosal and uveal melanoma.

J Immunother Cancer 2020 03;8(1)

Medical Oncology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA

Background: Checkpoint inhibitors (CPIs) are thought to be effective against cutaneous melanoma in part because of the large burden of somatic mutations (neoantigens) generated from exposure to ultraviolet radiation. However, rare melanoma subtypes arising from acral skin, mucosal surfaces, and the uveal tract are largely sun-shielded. Genomic studies show these sun-shielded melanomas have a paucity of neoantigens and unique biology; they are thought to be largely resistant to immunotherapy. It has not been definitively shown that CPI improves survival in metastatic sun-shielded melanoma.

Methods: We reviewed a single institutional experience using antibodies against CTLA-4, PD-1 and/or PD-L1 to treat patients with metastatic melanoma. Primary tumor histology was categorized as cutaneous, unknown, acral, mucosal, or uveal. We studied demographic data, treatment characteristics, and overall survival (OS) after CPI.

Results: We treated 428 patients with metastatic melanoma from 2007 to 2019. Primary tumors were cutaneous in 283 (66%), unknown in 55 (13%), acral in 22 (5%), mucosal in 38 (9%), and uveal in 30 (7%). Patients with metastatic disease from cutaneous primary tumors had median OS after CPI of 45 months compared with 17 months for acral (p=0.047), 18 months for mucosal (p=0.003), and 12 months for uveal (p<0.001). For all patients with sun-shielded melanoma (n=90), first treatment with anti-PD-1 or anti-PD-L1 was followed by a median OS of 9 months compared with 18 months after anti-CTLA-4 (p=0.010) and 20 months after combination therapy (p=0.003). There were 21 patients who achieved actual 3-year survival; 20 received both anti-CTLA-4 and anti-PD-1, either sequentially or in combination. Over 80% of 3-year survivors with progressive disease were treated with local therapy after CPI.

Conclusions: Long survival in patients with metastatic melanoma from acral, mucosal, and uveal primary tumors was associated with receipt of both anti-CTLA-4 and anti-PD-1 antibodies. Complete responses were rare, and local therapy was frequently employed to control disease progression. While sun-shielded melanomas exhibit worse outcomes after CPI than cutaneous melanomas, with an aggressive multidisciplinary approach, 5-year survival is still possible for 25%-32% of these patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2019-000341DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7103823PMC
March 2020

Sixth Immunotherapy of Cancer conference (ITOC): advances and perspectives-a meeting report.

J Immunother Cancer 2020 02;8(1)

Center of Integrated Protein Science Munich (CIPS-M) and Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Klinikum der Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Munchen, Munich, Germany

Immunotherapy has moved to the forefront of cancer treatment, illustrated by the accelerating pace of novel therapy approvals. In this complex environment, scientists rely on cutting edge conferences to stay informed. The Immunotherapy of Cancer (ITOC) conference was established jointly with the Society of the Immunotherapy of Cancer to bring the European researchers together. In its sixth edition, the ITOC conference has recently been held in Vienna, Austria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2019-000268DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7057436PMC
February 2020

Bempegaldesleukin selectively depletes intratumoral Tregs and potentiates T cell-mediated cancer therapy.

Nat Commun 2020 01 31;11(1):661. Epub 2020 Jan 31.

Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA.

High dose interleukin-2 (IL-2) is active against metastatic melanoma and renal cell carcinoma, but treatment-associated toxicity and expansion of suppressive regulatory T cells (Tregs) limit its use in patients with cancer. Bempegaldesleukin (NKTR-214) is an engineered IL-2 cytokine prodrug that provides sustained activation of the IL-2 pathway with a bias to the IL-2 receptor CD122 (IL-2Rβ). Here we assess the therapeutic impact and mechanism of action of NKTR-214 in combination with anti-PD-1 and anti-CTLA-4 checkpoint blockade therapy or peptide-based vaccination in mice. NKTR-214 shows superior anti-tumor activity over native IL-2 and systemically expands anti-tumor CD8 T cells while inducing Treg depletion in tumor tissue but not in the periphery. Similar trends of intratumoral Treg dynamics are observed in a small cohort of patients treated with NKTR-214. Mechanistically, intratumoral Treg depletion is mediated by CD8 Teff-associated cytokines IFN-γ and TNF-α. These findings demonstrate that NKTR-214 synergizes with T cell-mediated anti-cancer therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-14471-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6994577PMC
January 2020

Adenosine 2A Receptor Blockade as an Immunotherapy for Treatment-Refractory Renal Cell Cancer.

Cancer Discov 2020 01 15;10(1):40-53. Epub 2019 Nov 15.

Corvus Pharmaceuticals, Burlingame, California.

Adenosine mediates immunosuppression within the tumor microenvironment through triggering adenosine 2A receptors (A2AR) on immune cells. To determine whether this pathway could be targeted as an immunotherapy, we performed a phase I clinical trial with a small-molecule A2AR antagonist. We find that this molecule can safely block adenosine signaling . In a cohort of 68 patients with renal cell cancer (RCC), we also observe clinical responses alone and in combination with an anti-PD-L1 antibody, including subjects who had progressed on PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors. Durable clinical benefit is associated with increased recruitment of CD8 T cells into the tumor. Treatment can also broaden the circulating T-cell repertoire. Clinical responses are associated with an adenosine-regulated gene-expression signature in pretreatment tumor biopsies. A2AR signaling, therefore, represents a targetable immune checkpoint distinct from PD-1/PD-L1 that restricts antitumor immunity. SIGNIFICANCE: This first-in-human study of an A2AR antagonist for cancer treatment establishes the safety and feasibility of targeting this pathway by demonstrating antitumor activity with single-agent and anti-PD-L1 combination therapy in patients with refractory RCC. Responding patients possess an adenosine-regulated gene-expression signature in pretreatment tumor biopsies...
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/2159-8290.CD-19-0980DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6954326PMC
January 2020

Treatment-Free Survival: A Novel Outcome Measure of the Effects of Immune Checkpoint Inhibition-A Pooled Analysis of Patients With Advanced Melanoma.

J Clin Oncol 2019 12 9;37(35):3350-3358. Epub 2019 Sep 9.

Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

Purpose: Outcome measures that comprehensively capture attributes of immuno-oncology agents, including prolonged treatment-free time and persistent treatment-related adverse events (TRAEs), are needed to complement conventional survival end points.

Methods: We pooled data from the CheckMate 067 and 069 clinical trials of nivolumab and ipilimumab, as monotherapies or in combination, for patients with advanced melanoma. Treatment-free survival (TFS) was defined as the area between Kaplan-Meier curves for two conventional time-to-event end points, each defined from random assignment: time to immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) protocol therapy cessation and time to subsequent systemic therapy initiation or death. TFS was partitioned as time with and without toxicity by a third end point, time to cessation of both ICI therapy and toxicity. Toxicity included persistent and late-onset grade 3 or higher TRAEs. The area under each Kaplan-Meier curve was estimated by the 36-month restricted mean time.

Results: At 36 months, many of the 1,077 patients who initiated ICI therapy were surviving free of subsequent therapy initiation (47% nivolumab plus ipilimumab, 37% nivolumab, 15% ipilimumab). The restricted mean TFS was longer for nivolumab plus ipilimumab (11.1 months) compared with nivolumab (4.6 months; difference, 6.5 months; 95% CI, 5.0 to 8.0 months) or ipilimumab (8.7 months; difference, 2.4 months; 95% CI, 0.8 to 4.1 months); restricted mean TFS represented 31% (3% with and 28% without toxicity), 13% (1% and 11%), and 24% (less than 1% and 23%) of the 36-month period, respectively, in the three treatment groups. TFS without toxicity was longer for nivolumab plus ipilimumab than nivolumab (difference, 6.0 months) or ipilimumab (difference, 1.7 months).

Conclusion: The analysis of TFS between ICI cessation and subsequent therapy initiation revealed longer TFS without toxicity for patients with advanced melanoma who received nivolumab plus ipilimumab compared with nivolumab or ipilimumab. Regardless of treatment, a small proportion of the TFS involved grade 3 or higher TRAEs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.19.00345DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6901280PMC
December 2019

Five-Year Survival and Correlates Among Patients With Advanced Melanoma, Renal Cell Carcinoma, or Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Treated With Nivolumab.

JAMA Oncol 2019 Oct;5(10):1411-1420

Department of Internal Medicine (Section of Medical Oncology), Yale Cancer Center, New Haven, Connecticut.

Importance: Nivolumab, a monoclonal antibody that inhibits programmed cell death 1, is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for treating advanced melanoma, renal cell carcinoma (RCC), non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), and other malignancies. Data on long-term survival among patients receiving nivolumab are limited.

Objectives: To analyze long-term overall survival (OS) among patients receiving nivolumab and identify clinical and laboratory measures associated with tumor regression and OS.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This was a secondary analysis of the phase 1 CA209-003 trial (with expansion cohorts), which was conducted at 13 US medical centers and included 270 patients with advanced melanoma, RCC, or NSCLC who received nivolumab and were enrolled between October 30, 2008, and December 28, 2011. The analyses were either specified in the original protocol or included in subsequent protocol amendments that were implemented between 2008 and 2012. Statistical analysis was performed from October 30, 2008, to November 11, 2016.

Intervention: In the CA209-003 trial, patients received nivolumab (0.1-10.0 mg/kg) every 2 weeks in 8-week cycles for up to 96 weeks, unless they developed progressive disease, achieved a complete response, experienced unacceptable toxic effects, or withdrew consent.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Safety and activity of nivolumab; OS was a post hoc end point with a minimum follow-up of 58.3 months.

Results: Of 270 patients included in this analysis, 107 (39.6%) had melanoma (72 [67.3%] male; median age, 61 [range, 29-85] years), 34 (12.6%) had RCC (26 [76.5%] male; median age, 58 [range, 35-74] years), and 129 (47.8%) had NSCLC (79 [61.2%] male; median age, 65 [range, 38-85] years). Overall survival curves showed estimated 5-year rates of 34.2% among patients with melanoma, 27.7% among patients with RCC, and 15.6% among patients with NSCLC. In a multivariable analysis, the presence of liver (odds ratio [OR], 0.31; 95% CI, 0.12-0.83; P = .02) or bone metastases (OR, 0.31; 95% CI, 0.10-0.93; P = .04) was independently associated with reduced likelihood of survival at 5 years, whereas an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 (OR, 2.74; 95% CI, 1.43-5.27; P = .003) was independently associated with an increased likelihood of 5-year survival. Overall survival was significantly longer among patients with treatment-related AEs of any grade (median, 19.8 months; 95% CI, 13.8-26.9 months) or grade 3 or more (median, 20.3 months; 95% CI, 12.5-44.9 months) compared with those without treatment-related AEs (median, 5.8 months; 95% CI, 4.6-7.8 months) (P < .001 for both comparisons based on hazard ratios).

Conclusions And Relevance: Nivolumab treatment was associated with long-term survival in a subset of heavily pretreated patients with advanced melanoma, RCC, or NSCLC. Characterizing factors associated with long-term survival may inform treatment approaches and strategies for future clinical trial development.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00730639.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2019.2187DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6659167PMC
October 2019

Patterns of failure after immunotherapy with checkpoint inhibitors predict durable progression-free survival after local therapy for metastatic melanoma.

J Immunother Cancer 2019 07 24;7(1):196. Epub 2019 Jul 24.

Section of Surgical Oncology, Yale School of Medicine, 20 Park Street, New Haven, CT, 06519, USA.

Background: Checkpoint inhibitors (CPI) have revolutionized the treatment of metastatic melanoma, but most patients treated with CPI eventually develop progressive disease. Local therapy including surgery, ablation or stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) may be useful to manage limited progression, but criteria for patient selection have not been established. Previous work has suggested progression-free survival (PFS) after local therapy is associated with patterns of immunotherapy failure, but this has not been studied in patients treated with CPI.

Methods: We analyzed clinical data from patients with metastatic melanoma who were treated with antibodies against CTLA-4, PD-1 or PD-L1, either as single-agent or combination therapy, and identified those who had disease progression in 1 to 3 sites managed with local therapy. Patterns of CPI failure were designated by independent radiological review as growth of established metastases or appearance of new metastases. Local therapy for diagnosis, palliation or CNS metastases was excluded.

Results: Four hundred twenty-eight patients with metastatic melanoma received treatment with CPI from 2007 to 2018. Seventy-seven have ongoing complete responses while 69 died within 6 months of starting CPI; of the remaining 282 patients, 52 (18%) were treated with local therapy meeting our inclusion criteria. Local therapy to achieve no evidence of disease (NED) was associated with three-year progression-free survival (PFS) of 31% and five-year disease-specific survival (DSS) of 60%. Stratified by patterns of failure, patients with progression in established tumors had three-year PFS of 70%, while those with new metastases had three-year PFS of 6% (P = 0.001). Five-year DSS after local therapy was 93% versus 31%, respectively (P = 0.046).

Conclusions: Local therapy for oligoprogression after CPI can result in durable PFS in selected patients. We observed that patterns of failure seen during or after CPI treatment are strongly associated with PFS after local therapy, and may represent a useful criterion for patient selection. This experience suggests there may be an increased role for local therapy in patients being treated with immunotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40425-019-0672-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6657062PMC
July 2019

Assessment of the Safety of Pembrolizumab in Patients With HIV and Advanced Cancer-A Phase 1 Study.

JAMA Oncol 2019 Sep;5(9):1332-1339

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network, Seattle, Washington.

Importance: Anti-PD-1 (anti-programmed cell death 1) and anti-PD-L1 (anti-programmed cell death ligand 1) regimens are preferred therapies for many cancers, including cancers associated with HIV. However, patients with HIV were excluded from most registered trials.

Objective: The primary objective was to evaluate the safety of pembrolizumab in people with HIV and advanced cancer; the secondary objective was to evaluate tumor responses.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Open-label, nonrandomized, phase 1 multicenter study conducted at 7 Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network sites. Patients with HIV and advanced cancer as well as a CD4 count greater than or equal to 100 cells/μL, antiretroviral therapy (ART) for 4 or more weeks, and an HIV viral load of less than 200 copies/mL were eligible. Exclusion criteria included uncontrolled hepatitis B or C infection, active immunosuppressive therapy, or a history of autoimmune disease requiring systemic therapy.

Interventions: Pembrolizumab, 200 mg, administered intravenously every 3 weeks for up to 35 doses in 3 CD4 count-defined cohorts. Participants continued ART.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Safety and tolerability were assessed using current NCI Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events. Immune-related adverse events grade 2 or higher were considered immune-related events of clinical interest (irECI). Tumor responses were evaluated using standard tumor-specific criteria.

Results: Thirty participants (28 men and 2 women; median [range] age, 57 [39-77] years) were enrolled from April 2016 through March 2018; 6 had Kaposi sarcoma (KS), 5 had non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), and 19 had non-AIDS-defining cancers. Safety was observed over 183 cycles of treatment with pembrolizumab. Most treatment-emergent adverse events at least possibly attributed to pembrolizumab were grade 1 or 2 (n = 22), and 20% (n = 6) were grade 3. The irECI included hypothyroidism (6 participants), pneumonitis (3 participants), rash (2 participants), an elevated aminotransferase/alanine aminotransferase level (1 participant), and a musculoskeletal event (1 participant). One participant with pretreatment KS herpesvirus (KSHV) viremia developed a polyclonal KSHV-associated B-cell lymphoproliferation and died. HIV was controlled in all participants. Increases in CD4 count were not statistically significant (median increase, 19 cells/μL; P = .18). Best tumor responses included complete response (lung, 1 patient), partial response (NHL, 2 patients), stable disease for 24 weeks or more (KS, 2 patients), stable disease for less than 24 weeks (15 patients), and progressive disease (8 patients); 2 patients were not evaluable.

Conclusions And Relevance: Pembrolizumab has acceptable safety in patients with cancer, HIV treated with ART, and a CD4+ T-cell count of greater than 100 cells/μL but may be associated with KSHV-associated B-cell lymphoproliferation. Clinical benefit was noted in lung cancer, NHL, and KS. Anti-PD-1 therapy is appropriate for US Food and Drug Administration-approved indications and clinical trials in this population.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02595866.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2019.2244DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6547135PMC
September 2019

A novel anti-melanoma SRC-family kinase inhibitor.

Oncotarget 2019 Mar 19;10(23):2237-2251. Epub 2019 Mar 19.

Sabila Biosciences LLC, New City, New York, USA.

The major drawback of melanoma therapy with BRAF and MAPK inhibitors is the innate and acquired drug resistance. We therefore explored alternative targets and developed a new compound, SAB298, that is a SRC-family kinase (SFK) inhibitor. The drug is cytotoxic to patient-derived melanoma cells regardless of oncogene expression and inhibits tumor growth . As expected, it inhibited SRC and PI3K activity, and had the additional property of ERBB2 inhibition, that lead to inactivation of the two ERK phosphatases PP2A and SHP2. In 57% of the melanoma cell lines tested, the consequent increase in ERK activity lead to proteolytic degradation of its substrate, the lineage specific transcription factor MITF, likely contributing to growth arrest. Treatment with a combination of SAB298 and AZD6244 (selumetinib), induced a synergistic growth inhibition, suggesting that the new compound could be used in the clinic as a substitute for, or in combination with MAPK inhibitors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.26787DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6481345PMC
March 2019

A First-in-Human Study and Biomarker Analysis of NKTR-214, a Novel IL2Rβγ-Biased Cytokine, in Patients with Advanced or Metastatic Solid Tumors.

Cancer Discov 2019 06 15;9(6):711-721. Epub 2019 Apr 15.

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas.

NKTR-214 (bempegaldesleukin) is a novel IL2 pathway agonist, designed to provide sustained signaling through heterodimeric IL2 receptor βγ to drive increased proliferation and activation of CD8 T and natural killer cells without unwanted expansion of T regulatory cells (Treg) in the tumor microenvironment. In this first-in-human multicenter phase I study, NKTR-214 administered as an outpatient regimen was well tolerated and showed clinical activity including tumor shrinkage and durable disease stabilization in heavily pretreated patients. Immune activation and increased numbers of immune cells were observed in the periphery across all doses and cycles with no loss of NKTR-214 activity with repeated administration. On-treatment tumor biopsies demonstrated that NKTR-214 promoted immune cell increase with limited increase of Tregs. Transcriptional analysis of tumor biopsies showed that NKTR-214 engaged the IL2 receptor pathway and significantly increased genes associated with an effector phenotype. Based on safety and pharmacodynamic markers, the recommended phase II dose was determined to be 0.006 mg/kg every three weeks. SIGNIFICANCE: We believe that IL2- and IL2 pathway-targeted agents such as NKTR-214 are key components to an optimal immunotherapy treatment algorithm. Based on its biological activity and tolerability, NKTR-214 is being studied with approved immuno-oncology agents including checkpoint inhibitors...
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/2159-8290.CD-18-1495DOI Listing
June 2019

Immunotherapy of Melanoma: Facts and Hopes.

Clin Cancer Res 2019 09 28;25(17):5191-5201. Epub 2019 Mar 28.

Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.

Melanoma is among the most sensitive of malignancies to immune modulation. Although multiple trials conducted over decades with vaccines, cytokines, and cell therapies demonstrated meaningful responses in a small subset of patients with metastatic disease, a true increase in overall survival (OS) within a randomized phase III trial was not observed until the development of anti-CTLA-4 (ipilimumab). Further improvements in OS for metastatic disease were observed with the anti-PD-1-based therapies (nivolumab, pembrolizumab) as single agents or combined with ipilimumab. A lower bound for expected 5-year survival for metastatic melanoma is currently approximately 35% and could be as high as 50% for the nivolumab/ipilimumab combination among patients who would meet criteria for clinical trials. Moreover, a substantial fraction of long-term survivors will likely remain progression-free without continued treatment. The hope and major challenge for the future is to understand the immunobiology of tumors with primary or acquired resistance to anti-PD-1 or anti-PD-1/anti-CTLA-4 and to develop effective immune therapies tailored to individual patient subsets not achieving long-term clinical benefit. Additional goals include optimal integration of immune therapy with nonimmune therapies, the development and validation of predictive biomarkers in the metastatic setting, improved prognostic and predictive biomarkers for the adjuvant setting, understanding mechanisms of and decreasing toxicity, and optimizing the duration of therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-18-1550DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6726509PMC
September 2019

Ophthalmic Immune-Related Adverse Events of Immunotherapy: A Single-Site Case Series.

Ophthalmology 2019 07 6;126(7):1058-1062. Epub 2019 Feb 6.

Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut; Yale Cancer Center, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut. Electronic address:

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ophtha.2019.01.031DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6933747PMC
July 2019

Fibrinogen-like Protein 1 Is a Major Immune Inhibitory Ligand of LAG-3.

Cell 2019 01 20;176(1-2):334-347.e12. Epub 2018 Dec 20.

Department of Immunobiology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511, USA; Immunotherapy Institute, Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou, Fujian 350108, China; Department of Medicine (Medical Oncology), Yale University, New Haven, CT 06510, USA. Electronic address:

Lymphocyte-activation gene 3 (LAG-3) is an immune inhibitory receptor, with major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC-II) as a canonical ligand. However, it remains controversial whether MHC-II is solely responsible for the inhibitory function of LAG-3. Here, we demonstrate that fibrinogen-like protein 1 (FGL1), a liver-secreted protein, is a major LAG-3 functional ligand independent from MHC-II. FGL1 inhibits antigen-specific T cell activation, and ablation of FGL1 in mice promotes T cell immunity. Blockade of the FGL1-LAG-3 interaction by monoclonal antibodies stimulates tumor immunity and is therapeutic against established mouse tumors in a receptor-ligand inter-dependent manner. FGL1 is highly produced by human cancer cells, and elevated FGL1 in the plasma of cancer patients is associated with a poor prognosis and resistance to anti-PD-1/B7-H1 therapy. Our findings reveal an immune evasion mechanism and have implications for the design of cancer immunotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2018.11.010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6365968PMC
January 2019

Long-Term Survival of Patients With Melanoma With Active Brain Metastases Treated With Pembrolizumab on a Phase II Trial.

J Clin Oncol 2019 01 8;37(1):52-60. Epub 2018 Nov 8.

1 Yale University School of Medicine and Yale Cancer Center, New Haven, CT.

Purpose: Pembrolizumab is active in melanoma, but activity in patients with untreated brain metastasis is less established. We present long-term follow-up of pembrolizumab-treated patients with new or progressing brain metastases treated on a phase II clinical trial ( ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02085070).

Patients And Methods: We enrolled 23 patients with melanoma with one or more asymptomatic, untreated 5- to 20-mm brain metastasis not requiring corticosteroids; 70% of patients had prior systemic therapy. Pembrolizumab was administered for up to 24 months. Brain metastasis response, the primary end point, was assessed by modified Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST). Pretreatment tumors were analyzed for T-cell infiltrate and programmed death ligand 1.

Results: Six patients (26%) had a brain metastasis response. Eight patients (35%) did not reach a protocol evaluation scan and were unevaluable for brain metastasis response as a result of progression or need for radiation. Brain metastasis and systemic responses were concordant, with all ongoing at 24 months. The median progression-free and overall survival times were 2 and 17 months, respectively. Eleven patients (48%) were alive at 24 months. This included three unevaluable patients. One of these three patients had hemorrhaged, and two had symptoms from perilesional edema requiring radiosurgery, but all three patients remained on commercial pembrolizumab more than 24 months later. None of the 24-month survivors received subsequent BRAF inhibitors. Neurologic adverse events occurred in 65% of patients; all adverse events but one were grade 1 or 2. Three patients had seizures, which were treated with anticonvulsants. Most responders had higher pretreatment tumor CD8 cell density and programmed death ligand 1 expression, whereas all nonresponders did not.

Conclusion: Pembrolizumab is active in melanoma brain metastases with acceptable toxicity and durable responses. Multidisciplinary care is required to optimally manage patients with brain metastases, including consideration of radiation to large or symptomatic lesions, which were excluded in this trial. Two-year survival was similar to patients without brain metastasis treated with anti-programmed cell death 1 agents. Concordant brain and extracerebral responses support use of pembrolizumab to treat small, asymptomatic brain metastases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.18.00204DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6354772PMC
January 2019

Evaluation of classical clinical endpoints as surrogates for overall survival in patients treated with immune checkpoint blockers: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 2018 Nov 21;144(11):2245-2261. Epub 2018 Aug 21.

AstraZeneca, One MedImmune Way, Gaithersburg, MD, USA.

Purpose: Classical clinical endpoints [e.g., objective response rate (ORR), disease control rate (DCR), and progression-free survival (PFS)] may not be appropriate for immune checkpoint blockers (ICBs). We evaluated correlations between these endpoints and overall survival (OS) for surrogacy.

Methods: Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of solid tumors patients treated with ICBs published between 01/2005 and 03/2017, and congress proceedings (2014-2016) were included. Arm-level analyses measured 6-month PFS rate to predict 18-month OS rate. Comparison-level analyses measured ORR odds ratio (OR), DCR OR, and 6-month PFS hazard ratio (HR) to predict OS HR. A pooled analysis for single-agent ICBs and ICBs plus chemotherapy vs chemotherapy was conducted. Studies of single-agent ICBs vs chemotherapy were separately analyzed.

Results: 27 RCTs involving 61 treatment arms and 10,300 patients were included. Arm-level analysis showed higher 6- or 9-month PFS rates predicted better 18-month OS rates for ICB arms and/or chemotherapy arms. ICB arms had a higher average OS rate vs chemotherapy for all PFS rates. Comparison-level analysis showed a nonsignificant/weak correlation between ORR OR (adjusted R = - 0.069; P = 0.866) or DCR OR (adjusted R = 0.271; P = 0.107) and OS HR. PFS HR correlated weakly with OS HR in the pooled (adjusted R = 0.366; P = 0.005) and single-agent (adjusted R = 0.452; P = 0.005) ICB studies. Six-month PFS HR was highly predictive of OS HR for single-agent ICBs (adjusted R = 0.907; P < 0.001), but weakly predictive in the pooled analysis (adjusted R = 0.333; P = 0.023).

Conclusions: PFS was an imperfect surrogate for OS. Predictive value of 6-month PFS HR for OS HR in the single-agent ICB analysis requires further exploration.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00432-018-2738-xDOI Listing
November 2018