Publications by authors named "Omid Hamid"

148 Publications

A Phase I, Open-Label, Dose-Escalation Study of the OX40 Agonist Ivuxolimab in Patients With Locally Advanced or Metastatic Cancers.

Clin Cancer Res 2021 Oct 6. Epub 2021 Oct 6.

Division of Medical Oncology, USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Purpose: Stimulation of effector T cells is an appealing immunotherapeutic approach in oncology. OX40 (CD134) is a co-stimulatory receptor expressed on activated CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Induction of OX40 following antigen recognition results in enhanced T-cell activation, proliferation, and survival, and OX40 targeting shows therapeutic efficacy in preclinical studies. We report the monotherapy dose-escalation portion of a multicenter, phase I trial (NCT02315066) of ivuxolimab (PF-04518600), a fully human immunoglobulin G2 agonistic monoclonal antibody specific for human OX40.

Experimental Design: Adult patients ( = 52) with selected locally advanced or metastatic cancers received ivuxolimab 0.01-10 mg/kg. Primary endpoints were safety and tolerability. Secondary/exploratory endpoints included preliminary assessment of antitumor activity, and biomarker analyses.

Results: The most common all-causality adverse events were fatigue (46.2%), nausea (28.8%), and decreased appetite (25.0%). Of 31 treatment-related adverse events, 30 (96.8%) were grade {less than or equal to}2. No dose-limiting toxicities occurred. Ivuxolimab exposure increased in a dose-proportionate manner from 0.3 to 10 mg/kg. Full peripheral blood target engagement occurred at {greater than or equal to}0.3 mg/kg. Three (5.8%) patients achieved a partial response, and disease control was achieved in 56% of patients. Increased CD4+ central memory T-cell proliferation and activation, and clonal expansion of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in peripheral blood were observed at 0.1 to 3.0 mg/kg. Increased immune cell infiltrate and OX40 expression were evident in on-treatment tumor biopsies.

Conclusions: Ivuxolimab was generally well tolerated with on-target immune activation at clinically relevant doses, showed preliminary anti-tumor activity, and may serve as a partner for combination studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-21-0845DOI Listing
October 2021

Multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of seviprotimut-L polyvalent melanoma vaccine in patients with post-resection melanoma at high risk of recurrence.

J Immunother Cancer 2021 Oct;9(10)

St. Mary's Hospital and Medical Center, San Francisco, California, USA.

Background: Most patients with advanced melanomas relapse after checkpoint blockade therapy. Thus, immunotherapies are needed that can be applied safely early, in the adjuvant setting. Seviprotimut-L is a vaccine containing human melanoma antigens, plus alum. To assess the efficacy of seviprotimut-L, the Melanoma Antigen Vaccine Immunotherapy Study (MAVIS) was initiated as a three-part multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase III trial. Results from part B1 are reported here.

Methods: Patients with AJCC V.7 stage IIB-III cutaneous melanoma after resection were randomized 2:1, with stage stratification (IIB/C, IIIA, IIIB/C), to seviprotimut-L 40 mcg or placebo. Recurrence-free survival (RFS) was the primary endpoint. For an hypothesized HR of 0.625, one-sided alpha of 0.10, and power 80%, target enrollment was 325 patients.

Results: For randomized patients (n=347), arms were well-balanced, and treatment-emergent adverse events were similar for seviprotimut-L and placebo. For the primary intent-to-treat endpoint of RFS, the estimated HR was 0.881 (95% CI: 0.629 to 1.233), with stratified logrank p=0.46. However, estimated HRs were not uniform over the stage randomized strata, with HRs (95% CIs) for stages IIB/IIC, IIIA, IIIB/IIIC of 0.67 (95% CI: 0.37 to 1.19), 0.72 (95% CI: 0.35 to 1.50), and 1.19 (95% CI: 0.72 to 1.97), respectively. In the stage IIB/IIC stratum, the effect on RFS was greatest for patients <60 years old (HR=0.324 (95% CI: 0.121 to 0.864)) and those with ulcerated primary melanomas (HR=0.493 (95% CI: 0.255 to 0.952)).

Conclusions: Seviprotimut-L is very well tolerated. Exploratory efficacy model estimation supports further study in stage IIB/IIC patients, especially younger patients and those with ulcerated melanomas.

Trial Registration Number: NCT01546571.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2021-003272DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8488725PMC
October 2021

Long-term outcomes in patients with advanced melanoma who had initial stable disease with pembrolizumab in KEYNOTE-001 and KEYNOTE-006.

Eur J Cancer 2021 Sep 24;157:391-402. Epub 2021 Sep 24.

Department of Medicine, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, 100 Medical Plaza Driveway #550, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA. Electronic address:

Objective: Patients with melanoma and early stable disease (SD) with pembrolizumab have unclear prognosis. We present post hoc analyses of long-term outcomes for patients with early SD, partial response (PR) or complete response (CR) with pembrolizumab.

Patients And Methods: Patients who received pembrolizumab in the KEYNOTE-001 and KEYNOTE-006 studies and had SD, PR or CR at weeks 12 or 24 were included.

Results: Of 294 patients in the week 12 analysis, 107 (36.4%) had SD at week 12, of whom 7 (6.5%) had a best overall response of CR, 43 (40.2%) had PR and 57 (53.3%) had SD. Forty-eight-month overall survival (OS) rates were 95.2%, 73.0% and 47.7%, respectively, for patients with CR, PR and SD at week 12. Similar results were observed in the 241 patients in the week 24 analysis. Forty-eight-month OS rates were 72.1% for patients with SD at week 12 followed by subsequent response and 75.0% for patients with PR at week 12 followed by no change in response or progression. Thirty-six-month and 48-month OS rates were 11.6% and not reached, respectively, for patients with SD at week 12 followed by progression before week 24.

Conclusions: A substantial proportion of patients (46.7%) with early (week 12) SD with pembrolizumab achieved subsequent PR or CR. Patients with SD at week 12 and subsequent CR/PR had similar survival to those who maintained PR. In contrast, patients with SD at week 12 and subsequent progression had poor survival outcomes. These findings may guide treatment decisions for patients achieving early SD.

Trial Registration: Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT01295827 (KEYNOTE-001); NCT01866319 (KEYNOTE-006).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2021.08.013DOI Listing
September 2021

Overall Survival Benefit with Tebentafusp in Metastatic Uveal Melanoma.

N Engl J Med 2021 09;385(13):1196-1206

From Mount Vernon Cancer Centre, Northwood (P.N.), the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust, Wirral (J.J.S.), the University of Liverpool, Liverpool (J.J.S.), and Immunocore, Abingdon (S.E.A., C.H., H.G.) - all in the United Kingdom; the Department of Dermatology and the National Center for Tumor Diseases, University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg (J.C.H.), the Department of Dermatology and Allergy, University Hospital, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Munich (M.S.), the Department of Hematology and Oncology, Charité-Comprehensive Cancer Center (S.O.), Berlin, and the Department of Dermatology and the Center for Integrated Oncology, University Hospital Cologne, Cologne (C.M.) - all in Germany; Maria Sklodowska-Curie National Research Institute of Oncology, Warsaw, Poland (P.R.); Institut Roi Albert II des Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc and Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels (J.-F.B.); Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto (M.O.B.); Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Boston (R.J.S.); the Department of Dermatology, University Hospital of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland (R.D.); Hillman Cancer Center, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh (J.M.K.); Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia (M.O.); Kinghorn Cancer Centre, Saint Vincent's Hospital, Darlinghurst, NSW, Australia (A.M.J.); Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (A.N.S.) and Irving Medical Center, Columbia University (R.D.C.) - both in New York; Institut d'Investigació Biomèdica de Bellvitge-Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Oncología, Institut Català d'Oncologia, Barcelona (J.M.P.); University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City (M.M.); Duke University, Durham, NC (A.K.S.S.); Earle A. Chiles Research Institute, Providence Cancer Institute, Portland, OR (B.C.); N.N. Blokhin Cancer Research Center, Moscow (L.D.); Centre Antoine Lacassagne, Nice (L.G.) and Institut Curie, Paris Sciences and Letters Research University, Paris (S.P.-N.) - both in France; Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta (M.Y.); and the Angeles Clinic and Research Institute, a Cedars-Sinai Affiliate, Los Angeles (O.H.).

Background: Uveal melanoma is a disease that is distinct from cutaneous melanoma, with a low tumor mutational burden and a 1-year overall survival of approximately 50% in patients with metastatic uveal melanoma. Data showing a proven overall survival benefit with a systemic treatment are lacking. Tebentafusp is a bispecific protein consisting of an affinity-enhanced T-cell receptor fused to an anti-CD3 effector that can redirect T cells to target glycoprotein 100-positive cells.

Methods: In this open-label, phase 3 trial, we randomly assigned previously untreated HLA-A*02:01-positive patients with metastatic uveal melanoma in a 2:1 ratio to receive tebentafusp (tebentafusp group) or the investigator's choice of therapy with single-agent pembrolizumab, ipilimumab, or dacarbazine (control group), stratified according to the lactate dehydrogenase level. The primary end point was overall survival.

Results: A total of 378 patients were randomly assigned to either the tebentafusp group (252 patients) or the control group (126 patients). Overall survival at 1 year was 73% in the tebentafusp group and 59% in the control group (hazard ratio for death, 0.51; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.37 to 0.71; P<0.001) in the intention-to-treat population. Progression-free survival was also significantly higher in the tebentafusp group than in the control group (31% vs. 19% at 6 months; hazard ratio for disease progression or death, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.58 to 0.94; P = 0.01). The most common treatment-related adverse events in the tebentafusp group were cytokine-mediated events (due to T-cell activation) and skin-related events (due to glycoprotein 100-positive melanocytes), including rash (83%), pyrexia (76%), and pruritus (69%). These adverse events decreased in incidence and severity after the first three or four doses and infrequently led to discontinuation of the trial treatment (2%). No treatment-related deaths were reported.

Conclusions: Treatment with tebentafusp resulted in longer overall survival than the control therapy among previously untreated patients with metastatic uveal melanoma. (Funded by Immunocore; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03070392; EudraCT number, 2015-003153-18.).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2103485DOI Listing
September 2021

Development and Validation of a Modified Pathologic Nodal Classification System for Cutaneous Melanoma.

JAMA Surg 2021 Sep 1:e214298. Epub 2021 Sep 1.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California.

Importance: Given the evolving patterns of lymph node evaluation for cutaneous melanoma, it is unclear whether the current nodal classification system will continue to accurately reflect prognosis in the modern era. Existing nodal staging for cutaneous melanoma was developed primarily for patients undergoing completion lymph node dissection (CLND) for node-positive disease and does not produce groups with continuously increasing mortality.

Objective: To develop and validate a modified nodal classification system for cutaneous melanoma.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This retrospective cohort analysis included 105 785 patients with cutaneous melanoma undergoing surgery and nodal evaluation from January 1, 2004, to December 31, 2015, in the National Cancer Database. Extent of lymph node dissection was available for patients diagnosed in 2012 and onward. Multivariable models were generated with number of positive lymph nodes modeled using restricted cubic splines. A modified nodal classification system was derived using recursive partitioning analysis (RPA). The proposed lymph node classification system was validated in 85 499 patients from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER-18) database. Data were analyzed from April 9, 2020, to May 28, 2021.

Main Outcomes And Measures: Overall survival.

Results: Among the 105 785 patients included in the analysis (62 496 men [59.1%]; mean [SD] age, 59.9 [15.5] years), number of positive lymph nodes (hazard ratio [HR] per lymph node for 0 to 2 positive lymph nodes, 2.48 [95% CI, 2.37-2-61; P < .001]; HR per lymph node for ≥3 positive lymph nodes, 1.10 [95% CI 1.07-1.13; P < .001]), clinically detected metastases (HR, 1.35; 95% CI, 1.27-1.42; P < .001), and in-transit metastases (HR, 1.48; 95% CI, 1.34-1.65; P < .001) were independently associated with mortality. An RPA-derived system using these variables demonstrated continuously increasing mortality for each proposed lymph node classification group, with HRs of 1.83 (95% CI, 1.76-1.91) for N1a, 2.72 (95% CI, 2.58-2.86) for N1b, 3.79 (95% CI, 3.51-4.08) for N2a, 4.56 (95% CI, 4.22-4.92) for N2b, 6.15 (95% CI, 5.59-6.76) for N3a, and 8.25 (95% CI, 7.64-8.91) for N3b in the proposed system (P < .001). By contrast, the current American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) nodal classification system produced a more haphazard mortality profile, with HRs of 1.83 (95% CI, 1.76-1.91) for N1a, 3.81 (95% CI, 3.53-4.12) for N1b, 2.59 (95% CI, 2.30-2.93) for N1c, 2.71 (95% CI, 2.56-2.87) for N2a, 4.51 (95% CI, 4.17-4.87) for N2b, 3.44 (95% CI, 2.60-4.55) for N2c, 6.06 (95% CI, 5.51-6.67) for N3a, 8.15 (95% CI, 7.54-8.81) for N3b, and 6.90 (95% CI, 5.60-8.49) for N3c. As a sensitivity analysis, the proposed system continued to accurately stratify patients when excluding those undergoing CLND for microscopic lymph node metastases. This system was validated for overall survival and cause-specific mortality in SEER-18. Last, a new overall staging system for node-positive patients was developed by RPA and demonstrated improved concordance vs the AJCC, 8th edition system (C statistic, 0.690 [95% CI, 0.689-0.691] vs 0.666 [95% CI, 0.666-0.668]).

Conclusions And Relevance: The findings of this cohort study suggest that a modified nodal classification system can accurately stratify mortality risk in cutaneous melanoma in an era of increasing use of sentinel lymph node biopsy without CLND and should be considered for future staging systems.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamasurg.2021.4298DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8411360PMC
September 2021

CX-072 (pacmilimab), a Probody PD-L1 inhibitor, in combination with ipilimumab in patients with advanced solid tumors (PROCLAIM-CX-072): a first-in-human, dose-finding study.

J Immunother Cancer 2021 Jul;9(7)

Department of Medical Oncology, The Christie Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and University of Manchester, Manchester, UK.

Background: Probody® therapeutics are antibody prodrugs designed to be activated by tumor-associated proteases. This conditional activation restricts antibody binding to the tumor microenvironment, thereby minimizing 'off-tumor' toxicity. Here, we report the phase 1 data from the first-in-human study of CX-072 (pacmilimab), a Probody immune checkpoint inhibitor directed against programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1), in combination with the anti-cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4 (anti-CTLA-4) antibody ipilimumab.

Methods: Adults (n=27) with advanced solid tumors (naive to PD-L1/programmed cell death protein 1 or CTLA-4 inhibitors) were enrolled in the phase 1 combination therapy dose-escalation portion of this multicenter, open-label, phase 1/2 study (NCT03013491). Dose-escalation pacmilimab/ipilimumab followed a standard 3+3 design and continued until the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) was determined. Pacmilimab+ipilimumab was administered intravenously every 3 weeks for four cycles, followed by pacmilimab administered every 2 weeks as monotherapy. The primary objective was identification of dose-limiting toxicities and determination of the MTD. Other endpoints included the rate of objective response (Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumors v.1.1).

Results: Twenty-seven patients were enrolled in pacmilimab (mg/kg)+ipilimumab (mg/kg) dose-escalation cohorts: 0.3+3 (n=6); 1+3 (n=3); 3+3 (n=3); 10+3 (n=8); 10+6 (n=6); and 10+10 (n=1). Dose-limiting toxicities occurred in three patients, one at the 0.3+3 dose level (grade 3 dyspnea/pneumonitis) and two at the 10+6 dose level (grade 3 colitis, grade 3 increased aspartate aminotransferase). The MTD and recommended phase 2 dose was pacmilimab 10 mg/kg+ipilimumab 3 mg/kg administered every 3 weeks. Pacmilimab-related grade 3-4 adverse events (AEs) and grade 3-4 immune-related AEs were reported in nine (33%) and six (22%) patients, respectively. Three patients (11%) discontinued treatment because of AEs. The overall response rate was 19% (95% CI 6.3 to 38.1), with one complete (anal squamous cell carcinoma) and four partial responses (cancer of unknown primary, leiomyosarcoma, mesothelioma, testicular cancer). Responses lasted for >12 months in four patients.

Conclusions: The MTD and recommended phase 2 dose of pacmilimab (10 mg/kg)+ipilimumab (3 mg/kg) every 3 weeks is active and has a favorable tolerability profile.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2021-002446DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8311331PMC
July 2021

Lifileucel, a Tumor-Infiltrating Lymphocyte Therapy, in Metastatic Melanoma.

J Clin Oncol 2021 Aug 12;39(24):2656-2666. Epub 2021 May 12.

James Graham Brown Cancer Center, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY.

Purpose: Effective treatment options are limited for patients with advanced (metastatic or unresectable) melanoma who progress after immune checkpoint inhibitors and targeted therapies. Adoptive cell therapy using tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes has demonstrated efficacy in advanced melanoma. Lifileucel is an autologous, centrally manufactured tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte product.

Methods: We conducted a phase II open-label, single-arm, multicenter study in patients with advanced melanoma who had been previously treated with checkpoint inhibitor(s) and BRAF ± MEK targeted agents. Lifileucel was produced from harvested tumor specimens in central Good Manufacturing Practice facilities using a streamlined 22-day process. Patients received a nonmyeloablative lymphodepletion regimen, a single infusion of lifileucel, and up to six doses of high-dose interleukin-2. The primary end point was investigator-assessed objective response rate (ORR) per RECIST, version 1.1.

Results: Sixty-six patients received a mean of 3.3 prior therapies (anti-programmed death 1 [PD-1] or programmed death ligand 1 [PD-L1]: 100%; anticytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein-4: 80%; BRAF ± MEK inhibitor: 23%). The ORR was 36% (95% CI, 25 to 49), with two complete responses and 22 partial responses. Disease control rate was 80% (95% CI, 69 to 89). Median duration of response was not reached after 18.7-month median study follow-up (range, 0.2-34.1 months). In the primary refractory to anti-PD-1 or PD-L1 therapy subset, the ORR and disease control rate were 41% (95% CI, 26 to 57) and 81% (95% CI, 66 to 91), respectively. Safety profile was consistent with known adverse events associated with nonmyeloablative lymphodepletion and interleukin-2.

Conclusion: Lifileucel demonstrated durable responses and addresses a major unmet need in patients with metastatic melanoma with limited treatment options after approved therapy, including the primary refractory to anti-PD-1 or PD-L1 therapy subset.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.21.00612DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8376325PMC
August 2021

Immune adverse events (irAEs) with adjuvant ipilimumab in melanoma, use of immunosuppressants and association with outcome: ECOG-ACRIN E1609 study analysis.

J Immunother Cancer 2021 05;9(5)

UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.

Background: The impact of immune-related adverse events (irAEs) occurring from adjuvant use of immunotherapy and of their management on relapse-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS) outcomes is currently not well understood.

Patients And Methods: E1609 enrolled 1673 patients with resected high-risk melanoma and evaluated adjuvant ipilimumab 3 mg/kg (ipi3) and 10 mg/kg (ipi10) versus interferon-α. We investigated the association of irAEs and of use of immunosuppressants with RFS and OS for patients treated with ipilimumab (n=1034).

Results: Occurrence of grades 1-2 irAEs was associated with RFS (5 years: 52% (95% CI 47% to 56%) vs 41% (95% CI 31% to 50%) with no AE; p=0.006) and a trend toward improved OS (5 years: 75% (95% CI 71% to 79%) compared with 67% (95% CI 56% to 75%) with no AE; p=0.064). Among specific irAEs, grades 1-2 rash was most significantly associated with RFS (p=0.002) and OS (p=0.003). In multivariate models adjusting for prognostic factors, the most significant associations were seen for grades 1-2 rash with RFS (p<0.001, HR=0.70) and OS (p=0.01, HR=0.71) and for grades 1-2 endocrine+rash with RFS (p<0.001, HR=0.66) and OS (p=0.008, HR=0.7). Overall, grades 1-2 irAEs had the best prognosis in terms of RFS and OS and those with grades 3-4 had less RFS benefits and no OS advantage over no irAE. Patients experiencing grades 3-4 irAE had significantly higher exposure to corticosteroids and immunosuppressants than those with grades 1-2 (92% vs 60%; p<0.001), but no significant associations were found between corticosteroid and immunosuppressant use and RFS or OS. In investigating the impact of non-corticosteroid immunosuppressants, although there were trends toward better RFS and OS favoring cases who were not exposed, no significant associations were found.

Conclusions: Rash and endocrine irAEs were independent prognostic factors of RFS and OS in patients treated with adjuvant ipilimumab. Patients experiencing lower grade irAEs derived the most benefit, but we found no significant evidence supporting a negative impact of high dose corticosteroids and immunosuppressants more commonly used to manage grades 3-4 irAEs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2021-002535DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8108687PMC
May 2021

Safety and Efficacy of the Combination of Nivolumab Plus Ipilimumab in Patients With Melanoma and Asymptomatic or Symptomatic Brain Metastases (CheckMate 204).

Neuro Oncol 2021 Apr 21. Epub 2021 Apr 21.

Department of Medical Oncology, City of Hope, Duarte, CA.

Background: In patients with melanoma and asymptomatic brain metastases (MBM), nivolumab plus ipilimumab provided an intracranial response rate of 55%. Here, we present first report for patients who were symptomatic and/or required corticosteroids and updated data for asymptomatic patients.

Methods: Patients with measurable MBM, 0.5-3.0 cm, were enrolled into Cohort A (asymptomatic) or Cohort B (stable neurologic symptoms and/or receiving corticosteroids). Nivolumab, 1 mg/kg, and ipilimumab, 3 mg/kg, were given intravenously every 3 weeks x4, followed by nivolumab, 3 mg/kg, every 2 weeks until progression, unacceptable toxicity, or 24 months. The primary endpoint was intracranial clinical benefit rate (CBR; complete response [CR], partial response [PR], or stable disease ≥6 months).

Results: Symptomatic patients (N = 18) received a median of one nivolumab and ipilimumab combination dose, and had an intracranial CBR of 22.2%. Two of 12 patients on corticosteroids had CR; 2 responded among the 6 not on corticosteroids. Median intracranial progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were 1.2 and 8.7 months, respectively. In contrast, with 20.6 months of follow-up, we confirmed an intracranial CBR of 58.4% in asymptomatic patients (N = 101); median duration of response, PFS, and OS were not reached. No new safety signals were observed.

Conclusions: Nivolumab plus ipilimumab provides durable clinical benefit for asymptomatic patients with MBM and should be considered for first-line therapy. This regimen has limited activity in MBM patients with neurologic symptoms and/or requiring corticosteroids, supporting the need for alternative approaches and methods to reduce the dependency on corticosteroids.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuonc/noab094DOI Listing
April 2021

The "Great Debate" at Melanoma Bridge 2020: December, 5th, 2020.

J Transl Med 2021 04 7;19(1):142. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

Department of Medicine, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Buffalo, NY, USA.

The Great Debate session at the 2020 Melanoma Bridge virtual congress (December 3rd-5th, Italy) featured counterpoint views from experts on five specific controversial issues in melanoma. The debates considered whether or not innate immunity is important in the response to cancer and immunotherapy, how useful are the revised American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) classification for the staging of patients, the use of sentinel node biopsy for staging patients, the use of triplet combination of targeted therapy plus immunotherapy versus combined immunotherapy, and the respective benefits of neoadjuvant versus adjuvant therapy. As is usual with Bridge congresses, the debates were assigned by meeting Chairs and positions taken by experts during the debates may not have necessarily reflected their own personal opinion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12967-021-02808-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8028182PMC
April 2021

LY3022855, an anti-colony stimulating factor-1 receptor (CSF-1R) monoclonal antibody, in patients with advanced solid tumors refractory to standard therapy: phase 1 dose-escalation trial.

Invest New Drugs 2021 08 23;39(4):1057-1071. Epub 2021 Feb 23.

Internal Medicine, Division of Medical Oncology, The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, 1310D Lincoln Tower, 1800 Cannon Drive, Columbus, OH, 43210, USA.

Background Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) promote tumor growth, metastasis, and therapeutic resistance via colony-stimulating factor-1 (CSF-1), acting through CSF-1 receptor (CSF-1R) signaling. This phase 1 study determined the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics-pharmacodynamics, immunogenicity, and efficacy of the anti-CSF-1R antibody LY3022855 in solid tumors. Methods Patients with advanced solid tumors refractory to standard therapy were enrolled and treated in 2 dosing cohorts: weight-based (part A) and non-weight-based (part B). Part A patients were assigned to intravenous (IV) dose-escalation cohorts: 2.5 mg/kg once per week (QW), 0.3 mg/kg QW, 0.6 mg/kg QW, 1.25 mg/kg once every 2 weeks (Q2W) and 1.25 mg/kg QW doses of LY3022855. Non-weight-based doses in part B were 100 mg and 150 mg IV QW. Results Fifty-two patients (mean age 58.6 ± 10.4 years) were treated with ≥1 dose of LY3022855 (range: 4-6). Five dose-limiting toxicities (left ventricular dysfunction, anemia, pancreatitis, rhabdomyolysis, and acute kidney injury) occurred in 4 patients. The non-weight-based 100 mg QW dose was established as the RP2D. The most common treatment-emergent adverse events were increase in liver function variables, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, anorexia, pyrexia, increased lipase, amylase, and lactate dehydrogenase. Clearance decreased with increasing dose and weight-based dosing had minimal effect on pharmacokinetics. Serum CSF-1, and IL-34 levels increased at higher doses and more frequent dosing, whereas TAMs and CD14dimCD16bright levels decreased. Three patients achieved stable disease. No responses were seen. Conclusions LY3022855 was well tolerated and showed dose-dependent pharmacokinetics-pharmacodynamics and limited clinical activity in a heterogenous solid tumor population. ClinicalTrials.gov ID NCT01346358 (Registration Date: May 3, 2011).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10637-021-01084-8DOI Listing
August 2021

Long-term safety of pembrolizumab monotherapy and relationship with clinical outcome: A landmark analysis in patients with advanced melanoma.

Eur J Cancer 2021 02 24;144:182-191. Epub 2020 Dec 24.

Melanoma Institute Australia, The University of Sydney, 40 Rocklands Rd, Wollstonecraft, NSW, 2065, Australia; Department of Medical Oncology, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, University Health Network, 610 University Ave, Toronto, ON, M5G2C1, Canada; The Kinghorn Cancer Centre at St Vincent's Hospital, 370 Victoria St, Darlinghurst, NSW, 2010, Australia; St Vincent's Clinical School, UNSW Sydney, Victoria St, Darlinghurst, NSW, 2010, Australia. Electronic address:

Objective: Long-term safety of pembrolizumab in melanoma was analyzed in KEYNOTE-001, KEYNOTE-002, and KEYNOTE-006.

Patients And Methods: Analysis involved patients who received ≥1 pembrolizumab dose. Lead-time bias was addressed via landmark analyses in patients who were progression-free before day 147.

Results: Adverse events (AEs) were analyzed for 1567 patients (median follow-up, 42.4 months). Most AEs were mild/moderate; grade 3/4 treatment-related AEs occurred in 17.7% of patients. Two pembrolizumab-related deaths occurred. Any-grade immune-mediated AEs (imAEs) occurred in 23.0%, most commonly hypothyroidism (9.1%), pneumonitis (3.3%), and hyperthyroidism (3.0%); grade 3/4 imAEs occurred in 6.9% of patients. Most imAEs occurred within 16 weeks of treatment. In landmark analysis, patients who did (n = 79) versus did not (n = 384) develop imAEs had similar objective response rates (ORRs) (64.6% versus 63.0%); median time to response (TTR), 5.6 months for both; median duration of response (DOR), 20.0 versus 25.3 months; median progression-free survival (PFS), 17.0 versus 17.7 months; median overall survival (OS), not reached (NR) versus 43 months (p = 0.1104). Patients who did (n = 17) versus did not (n = 62) receive systemic corticosteroids had similar ORRs (70.6% vs. 62.9%) and median TTR (6.4 vs. 5.6 months) but numerically shorter median PFS (9.9 vs. 17.0 months); median DOR, 14.2 months versus NR; median OS, NR for both.

Conclusions: These results enhance the knowledge base for pembrolizumab in advanced melanoma, with no new toxicity signals after lengthy follow-up of a large population. In landmark analyses, pembrolizumab efficacy was similar regardless of imAEs or systemic corticosteroid use.

Clinical Trial Registry: NCT01295827, NCT01704287, NCT01866319.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2020.11.010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8388128PMC
February 2021

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

Association of BRAF V600E/K Mutation Status and Prior BRAF/MEK Inhibition With Pembrolizumab Outcomes in Advanced Melanoma: Pooled Analysis of 3 Clinical Trials.

JAMA Oncol 2020 08;6(8):1256-1264

The Angeles Clinic and Research Institute, Los Angeles, California.

Importance: The optimal sequencing of immune checkpoint inhibitors and targeted therapy for BRAF V600E/K-mutant melanoma is not well established.

Objective: To assess the association of BRAF wild-type (WT) or BRAF V600E/K-mutant status and BRAF inhibitor (BRAFi) with or without MEK inhibitor (MEKi) therapy with response to pembrolizumab.

Design, Setting, And Participants: This study is a post hoc subgroup analysis of pooled data from 3 multinational, multisite studies: KEYNOTE-001 (data cutoff September 1, 2017), KEYNOTE-002 (data cutoff May 30, 2018), and KEYNOTE-006 (data cutoff December 4, 2017). Patients included in this analysis were adults with advanced melanoma and known BRAF V600E/K tumor status who had received pembrolizumab.

Interventions: Patients received pembrolizumab in dosages of 2 mg/kg every 3 weeks, 10 mg/kg every 2 weeks, or 10 mg/kg every 3 weeks.

Main Outcomes And Measures: End points were objective response rate (ORR) and progression-free survival (PFS) assessed by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors, version 1.1, and overall survival (OS). Objective response rates, 4-year PFS, and OS rates were compared in the following patient subgroups: BRAF WT vs BRAF V600E/K-mutant melanoma and BRAF V600E/K-mutant melanoma with vs without previous treatment with BRAFi with or without MEKi therapy.

Results: The overall study population (N = 1558) included 944 men (60.6%) and 614 women (39.4%). The mean (SD) age was 60.0 years (14.0). The ORR was 38.3% (596/1558), 4-year PFS rate was 22.0%, and 4-year OS rate was 36.9%. For patients with BRAF WT (n = 1124) and BRAF V600E/K-mutant melanoma (n = 434), ORR was 39.8% (n = 447) and 34.3% (n = 149), 4-year PFS rate was 22.9% and 19.8%, and 4-year OS rate was 37.5% and 35.1%, respectively. Patients with BRAF V600E/K-mutant melanoma who had (n = 271) vs had not (n = 163) previously received BRAFi with or without MEKi therapy had baseline characteristics with worse prognosis; ORR was 28.4% (n = 77) and 44.2% (n = 72), 4-year PFS rate was 15.2% and 27.8%, and 4-year OS rate was 26.9% and 49.3%, respectively.

Conclusions And Relevance: Results of this subgroup analysis support the use of pembrolizumab for treatment of advanced melanoma regardless of BRAF V600E/K mutation status or receipt of prior BRAFi with or without MEKi therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jamaoncol.2020.2288DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7366279PMC
August 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
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8375360PMC
September 2020

Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors for Cancer Therapy in the COVID-19 Era.

Clin Cancer Res 2020 08 15;26(16):4201-4205. Epub 2020 Jun 15.

Center for Immuno-Oncology, Medical Oncology and Immunotherapy, Department of Oncology, University Hospital of Siena, Siena, Italy.

The potential immune intersection between COVID-19 disease and cancer therapy raises important practical clinical questions and highlights multiple scientific gaps to be filled. Among available therapeutic approaches to be considered, immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) seem to require major attention as they may act at the crossroads between cancer treatment and COVID-19 disease, due to their profound immunomodulatory activity. On the basis of available literature evidence, we suggest guidance to consider for treating physicians, and propose areas of clinical and preclinical investigation. Comprehensively, although with the necessary caution, ICI therapy seems to remain a suitable therapeutic option for patients with cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-1657DOI Listing
August 2020

Overall survival at 5 years of follow-up in a phase III trial comparing ipilimumab 10 mg/kg with 3 mg/kg in patients with advanced melanoma.

J Immunother Cancer 2020 06;8(1)

Center for Immuno-Oncology, University Hospital of Siena, Instituto Toscano Tumori, Siena, Italy.

Background: We have previously reported significantly longer overall survival (OS) with ipilimumab 10 mg/kg versus ipilimumab 3 mg/kg in patients with advanced melanoma, with higher incidences of adverse events (AEs) at 10 mg/kg. This follow-up analysis reports a 5-year update of OS and safety.

Methods: This randomized, multicenter, double-blind, phase III trial included patients with untreated or previously treated unresectable stage III or IV melanoma. Patients were randomly assigned (1:1) to ipilimumab 10 mg/kg or 3 mg/kg every 3 weeks for 4 doses. The primary end point was OS.

Results: At a minimum follow-up of 61 months, median OS was 15.7 months (95% CI 11.6 to 17.8) at 10 mg/kg and 11.5 months (95% CI 9.9 to 13.3) at 3 mg/kg (HR 0.84, 95% CI 0.71 to 0.99; p=0.04). In a subgroup analysis, median OS of patients with asymptomatic brain metastasis was 7.0 months (95% CI 4.0 to 12.8) in the 10 mg/kg group and 5.7 months (95% CI 4.2 to 7.0) in the 3 mg/kg group. In patients with wild-type or mutant tumors, median OS was 13.8 months (95% CI 10.2 to 17.0) and 33.2 months (95% CI 19.4 to 45.2) in the 10 mg/kg group, and 11.2 months (95% CI 9.2 to 13.8) and 19.7 months (95% CI 11.6 to 25.3) in the 3 mg/kg group, respectively. The incidence of grade 3/4 treatment-related AEs was 36% in the 10 mg/kg group vs 20% in the 3 mg/kg group, and deaths due to treatment-related AEs occurred in four (1%) and two patients (1%), respectively.

Conclusions: This 61-month follow-up of a phase III trial showed sustained long-term survival in patients with advanced melanoma who started metastatic treatment with ipilimumab monotherapy, and confirmed the significant benefit for those who received ipilimumab 10 mg/kg vs 3 mg/kg. These results suggest the emergence of a plateau in the OS curve, consistent with previous ipilimumab studies.

Trial Registration Number: NCT01515189.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2019-000391DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7279645PMC
June 2020

Improved survival in women versus men with merkel cell carcinoma.

J Am Acad Dermatol 2021 Feb 15;84(2):321-329. Epub 2020 May 15.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California. Electronic address:

Background: Studies have observed that women have better outcomes than men in melanoma, but less is known about the influence of sex differences on outcomes for other aggressive cutaneous malignancies.

Objective: To investigate whether women and men have disparate outcomes in Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC).

Methods: Patients with nonmetastatic MCC undergoing surgery and lymph node evaluation were identified from the National Cancer Database (NCDB) and the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database. Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox proportional hazards regression models were used for overall survival, and competing-risks analysis and Fine-Gray models were used for cause-specific and other-cause mortality.

Results: The NCDB cohort (n = 4178) included 1516 (36%) women. Women had a consistent survival advantage compared with men in propensity score-matched analysis (66.0% vs 56.8% at 5 years, P < .001) and multivariable Cox regression (hazard ratio, 0.68; 95% confidence interval, 0.61-0.75; P < .001). Similarly, women had a survival advantage in the SEER validation cohort (n = 1202) with 457 (38.0%) women, which was entirely due to differences in MCC-specific mortality (5-year cumulative incidence: 16.4% vs 26.7%, P = .002), with no difference in other-cause mortality (16.8% vs 17.8%, P = .43) observed in propensity score-matched patients.

Limitations: Potential selection bias from a retrospective data set.

Conclusion: In MCC, women have improved survival compared with men, driven by MCC-related mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2020.02.034DOI Listing
February 2021

Avelumab in patients with previously treated metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma: long-term data and biomarker analyses from the single-arm phase 2 JAVELIN Merkel 200 trial.

J Immunother Cancer 2020 05;8(1)

Division of Dermatology, Department of Medicine, University of Washington Medical Center at South Lake Union, Seattle, Washington, USA.

Background: Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare, aggressive skin cancer associated with a high risk of metastasis. In 2017, avelumab (anti-programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1)) became the first approved treatment for patients with metastatic MCC (mMCC), based on the occurrence of durable responses in a subset of patients. Here, we report long-term efficacy and safety data and exploratory biomarker analyses in patients with mMCC treated with avelumab.

Methods: In a cohort of this single-arm, phase 2 trial (JAVELIN Merkel 200), patients with mMCC and disease progression after prior chemotherapy received avelumab 10 mg/kg intravenously every 2 weeks. The primary endpoint was confirmed objective response rate (ORR) by independent review per Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors V.1.1. Other assessments included duration of response, progression-free survival, overall survival (OS), safety and biomarker analyses.

Results: As of 14 September 2018, 88 patients had been followed up for a median of 40.8 months (range 36.4-49.7 months). The ORR was 33.0% (95% CI 23.3% to 43.8%), including a complete response in 11.4% (10 patients), and the median duration of response was 40.5 months (95% CI 18.0 months to not estimable). As of 2 May 2019 (≥44 months of follow-up), the median OS was 12.6 months (95% CI 7.5 to 17.1 months) and the 42-month OS rate was 31% (95% CI 22% to 41%). Of long-term survivors (OS >36 months) evaluable for PD-L1 expression status (n=22), 81.8% had PD-L1+ tumors. In exploratory biomarker analyses, high tumor mutational burden (≥2 non-synonymous somatic variants per megabase) and high major histocompatibility complex class I expression (30% of tumors with highest expression) were associated with trends for improved ORR and OS. In long-term safety assessments (≥36 months of follow-up), no new or unexpected adverse events were reported, and no treatment-related deaths occurred.

Conclusions: Avelumab showed continued durable responses and meaningful long-term survival outcomes in patients with mMCC, reinforcing avelumab as a standard-of-care treatment option for this disease.

Trial Registration Number: NCT02155647.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2020-000674DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7239697PMC
May 2020

The Great Debate at "Melanoma Bridge", Naples, December 7th, 2019.

J Transl Med 2020 04 16;18(1):171. Epub 2020 Apr 16.

Dermatology, Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo, Pavia, Italy.

The Great Debate session at the 2019 Melanoma Bridge congress (December 5-7, Naples, Italy) featured counterpoint views from experts on five topical issues in melanoma. These were whether to choose local intratumoral treatment or systemic treatment, whether patients with stage IIIA melanoma require adjuvant therapy or not, whether treatment is better changed at disease progression or during stable disease, whether adoptive cell transfer (ACT) therapy is more appropriate used before or in combination with checkpoint inhibition therapy, and whether treatment can be stopped while the patient is still on response. As was the case for previous meetings, the debates were assigned by meeting Chairs. As such, positions taken by each of the melanoma experts during the debates may not have reflected their respective personal approach.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12967-020-02340-wDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7164218PMC
April 2020

The association between facility volume and overall survival in patients with Merkel cell carcinoma.

J Surg Oncol 2020 Aug 15;122(2):254-262. Epub 2020 Apr 15.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California.

Background: Merkel cell carcinoma is an uncommon malignancy often requiring multidisciplinary management. The purpose of this study was to determine whether high-volume facilities have improved outcomes in patients with Merkel cell carcinoma relative to lower-volume facilities.

Methods: A total of 5304 patients from the National Cancer Database with stage I-III Merkel cell carcinoma undergoing surgery were analyzed. High-volume facilities were the top 1% by case volume. Multivariable Cox regression and propensity score-matching were performed to account for imbalances between groups.

Results: Treatment at high-volume facilities (hazard ratio: 0.74; 95% confidence interval: 0.65-0.84, P < .001) was independently associated with improved overall survival (OS) in multivariable analyses. In propensity score-matched cohorts, 5-year OS was 62.3% at high-volume facilities vs 56.8% at lower-volume facilities (P < .001). Median OS was 111 months at high-volume facilities vs 79 months at lower-volume facilities.

Conclusion: Treatment at high-volume facilities is associated with improved OS in Merkel cell carcinoma. Given the impracticality of referring all elderly patients with Merkel cell carcinoma to a small number of facilities, methods to mitigate this disparity should be explored.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jso.25931DOI Listing
August 2020

Intratumoral Immunotherapy-Update 2019.

Oncologist 2020 03 29;25(3):e423-e438. Epub 2019 Nov 29.

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, Buffalo, New York, USA.

Intratumoral immunotherapies aim to trigger local and systemic immunologic responses via direct injection of immunostimulatory agents with the goal of tumor cell lysis, followed by release of tumor-derived antigens and subsequent activation of tumor-specific effector T cells. In 2019, a multitude of intratumoral immunotherapies with varied mechanisms of action, including nononcolytic viral therapies such as PV-10 and toll-like receptor 9 agonists and oncolytic viral therapies such as CAVATAK, Pexa-Vec, and HF10, have been extensively evaluated in clinical trials and demonstrated promising antitumor activity with tolerable toxicities in melanoma and other solid tumor types. Talimogene laherparepvec (T-VEC), a genetically modified herpes simplex virus type 1-based oncolytic immunotherapy, is the first oncolytic virus approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of unresectable melanoma recurrent after initial surgery. In patients with unresectable metastatic melanoma, T-VEC demonstrated a superior durable response rate (continuous complete response or partial response lasting ≥6 months) over subcutaneous GM-CSF (16.3% vs. 2.1%; p < .001). Responses were seen in both injected and uninjected lesions including visceral lesions, suggesting a systemic antitumor response. When combined with immune checkpoint inhibitors, T-VEC significantly improved response rates compared with single agent; similar results were seen with combinations of checkpoint inhibitors and other intratumoral therapies such as CAVATAK, HF10, and TLR9 agonists. In this review, we highlight recent results from clinical trials of key intratumoral immunotherapies that are being evaluated in the clinic, with a focus on T-VEC in the treatment of advanced melanoma as a model for future solid tumor indications. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: This review provides oncologists with the latest information on the development of key intratumoral immunotherapies, particularly oncolytic viruses. Currently, T-VEC is the only U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved oncolytic immunotherapy. This article highlights the efficacy and safety data from clinical trials of T-VEC both as monotherapy and in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors. This review summarizes current knowledge on intratumoral therapies, a novel modality with increased utility in cancer treatment, and T-VEC, the only U.S. FDA-approved oncolytic viral therapy, for medical oncologists. This review evaluates approaches to incorporate T-VEC into daily practice to offer the possibility of response in selected melanoma patients with manageable adverse events as compared with other available immunotherapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1634/theoncologist.2019-0438DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7066689PMC
March 2020

Association between PD-L1 status and immune checkpoint inhibitor response in advanced malignancies: a systematic review and meta-analysis of overall survival data.

Jpn J Clin Oncol 2020 Jul;50(7):800-809

Georgia Cancer Center - Augusta University, Augusta, GA, USA.

Background: Targeting the programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) pathway has become standard for many advanced malignancies. Whether PD-L1 expression predicts response is unclear. We assessed the association between PD-L1 expression and immunotherapy response using stratified meta-analysis.

Methods: We performed a systematic review of randomized clinical trials published prior to October 2018 comparing overall survival (OS) in patients with advanced solid organ malignancies treated with immunotherapy or standard treatment. Pooled hazard ratios were calculated among patients with high and low PD-L1 levels independently. Differences between the two estimates were assessed using meta-analysis of study-level differences. Our primary analysis assessed a 1% threshold while secondary analyses utilized 5, 10 and 50%.

Results: 14 eligible trials reporting on 8887 patients were included. While there was a significant OS benefit for immunotherapy compared with standard treatment for all patients, the magnitude of benefit was significantly larger among those with high PD-L1 expression (P = 0.006). This finding persisted regardless of threshold used and across subgroup analyses according to PD-L1 assay type, tumor histology, line of therapy, type of inhibitor and study methodology.

Conclusions: PD-L1 levels have important predictive value in determining the response to immunotherapy. However, patients with low PD-L1 levels also experience improved survival with immunotherapy compared with standard treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jjco/hyaa021DOI Listing
July 2020

Quantitative metastatic lymph node burden and survival in Merkel cell carcinoma.

J Am Acad Dermatol 2021 Feb 16;84(2):312-320. Epub 2020 Jan 16.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California; Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California. Electronic address:

Background: Current lymph node (LN) staging for Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) does not account for the number of metastatic LNs, which is a primary driver of survival in multiple cancers.

Objective: To determine the impact of the number of metastatic LNs on survival in MCC.

Methods: Patients with MCC undergoing surgery were identified from the National Cancer Database (NCDB). The association between metastatic LN number and survival was modeled with restricted cubic splines. A novel nodal classification system was derived by using recursive partitioning analysis. MCC patients undergoing surgery in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program were used as validation cohort.

Results: Among 3670 patients in the NCDB, increasing metastatic LN number was associated with decreased survival (P < .001). Mortality risk increased continuously with each additional positive LN when using multivariable, nonlinear modeling. According to a novel staging system derived via recursive partitioning analysis, the hazard ratio for death in multivariable regression compared with patients without LN involvement was 1.24 (P = .049), 2.08 (P < .001), 3.24 (P < .001), and 6.13 (P < .001) for the proposed N1a (1-3 metastatic LNs with microscopic detection), N1b (1-3 metastatic LNs with macroscopic detection), N2 (4-8 metastatic LNs), and N3 (≥9 metastatic LNs), respectively. This system was validated in the SEER cohort and showed improved concordance compared with the American Joint Committee on Cancer, Eighth Edition.

Limitations: Retrospective design.

Conclusions: Number of metastatic LNs is the dominant nodal factor driving survival in patients with MCC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2019.12.072DOI Listing
February 2021

Phase III Study of Adjuvant Ipilimumab (3 or 10 mg/kg) Versus High-Dose Interferon Alfa-2b for Resected High-Risk Melanoma: North American Intergroup E1609.

J Clin Oncol 2020 02 27;38(6):567-575. Epub 2019 Dec 27.

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA.

Purpose: Phase III adjuvant trials have reported significant benefits in both relapse-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS) for high-dose interferon alfa (HDI) and ipilimumab at 10 mg/kg (ipi10). E1609 evaluated the safety and efficacy of ipilimumab at 3 mg/kg (ipi3) and ipi10 versus HDI.

Patients And Methods: E1609 was a phase III trial in patients with resected cutaneous melanoma (American Joint Committee on Cancer 7th edition stage IIIB, IIIC, M1a, or M1b). It had 2 coprimary end points: OS and RFS. A 2-step hierarchic approach first evaluated ipi3 versus HDI followed by ipi10 versus HDI.

Results: Between May 2011 and August 2014, 1,670 adult patients were centrally randomly assigned (1:1:1) to ipi3 (n = 523), HDI (n = 636), or ipi10 (n = 511). Treatment-related adverse events grade ≥ 3 occurred in 37% of patients receiving ipi3, 79% receiving HDI, and 58% receiving ipi10, with adverse events leading to treatment discontinuation in 35%, 20%, and 54%, respectively. Comparison of ipi3 versus HDI used an intent-to-treat analysis of concurrently randomly assigned patient cases (n = 1,051) and showed significant OS difference in favor of ipi3 (hazard ratio [HR], 0.78; 95.6% repeated CI, 0.61 to 0.99; = .044; RFS: HR, 0.85; 99.4% CI, 0.66 to 1.09; = .065). In the second step, for ipi10 versus HDI (n = 989), trends in favor of ipi10 did not achieve statistical significance. Salvage patterns after melanoma relapse showed significantly higher rates of ipilimumab and ipilimumab/anti-programmed death 1 use in the HDI arm versus ipi3 and ipi10 ( ≤ .001).

Conclusion: Adjuvant therapy with ipi3 benefits survival versus HDI; for the first time to our knowledge in melanoma adjuvant therapy, E1609 has demonstrated a significant improvement in OS against an active control regimen. The currently approved adjuvant ipilimumab dose (ipi10) was more toxic and not superior in efficacy to HDI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.19.01381DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7030886PMC
February 2020

Treatment patterns of melanoma by mutation status in the USA from 2011 to 2017: a retrospective cohort study.

Melanoma Manag 2019 Nov 5;6(4):MMT31. Epub 2019 Nov 5.

City of Hope, Duarte, CA, USA.

Aim: To describe treatment changes from 2011 to 2017 and demographic/clinical characteristics of patients with advanced melanoma who received systemic therapy by status.

Patients & Methods: Treatment patterns were evaluated in adults from the Oncology Services Comprehensive Electronic Records database who received antimelanoma systemic therapy.

Results: Checkpoint inhibitors were prevailingly prescribed (66%); usage increased from 2011 (21%) to 2017 (84%). BRAF/MEK inhibitors were the second most common (21%); usage increased from 2011 (6%) to 2012 (18%) and stabilized until 2017 (22%). BRAF/MEK inhibitors (65%) and checkpoint inhibitors (57%) were predominantly used for melanoma.

Conclusion: Overall, checkpoint inhibitors have supplanted other therapies for advanced melanoma. Treatment shifts have occurred for melanoma, notably increased use of checkpoint inhibitors and BRAF/MEK combinations compared with monotherapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/mmt-2019-0013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6920746PMC
November 2019

Analysis of Heterogeneity in Survival Benefit of Immunotherapy in Oncology According to Patient Demographics and Performance Status: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Overall Survival Data.

Am J Clin Oncol 2020 03;43(3):193-202

Department of Surgery, Division of Urology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.

Objectives: Immunotherapy (IO) has become standard of care (SOC) for many advanced malignancies, although identifying patients likely to benefit remains difficult. We sought to assess whether demographic factors are associated with response to IO, compared with SOC systemic therapy, using stratified meta-analysis.

Methods: A systematic review of MEDLINE, PubMed, Embase, and Scopus from inception to October 2, 2018. Randomized controlled trials comparing IO to SOC in patients with advanced solid organ malignancies were included if results were stratified by age, performance status (PS), or race, assessing overall survival (OS). Pooled hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated for each group using random-effects models independently.

Results: We identified 21 eligible randomized controlled trials, including 20 stratified by age, 17 by PS, and 4 by race. Patients with PS 0 (HR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.63-0.86) and PS≥1 (HR, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.68-0.83) had similar OS benefits from IO compared with SOC (P=0.80). There was no difference on the basis of patient race (white vs. nonwhite) (P=0.46). IO demonstrated an OS benefit for younger (below 65 y: HR, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.65-0.82) and older (65 y and above: HR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.71-0.88) patients with no difference between age groups (P=0.27). Among prespecified subgroup analyses, there was significant effect modification in 2 subgroups: younger patients in the first-line setting (P=0.03) and those receiving anti-CTLA-4 drugs (P=0.05).

Conclusions: When examining OS using stratified meta-analysis, we did not demonstrate significant differences in IO efficacy according to patient age, PS or race, though data on race were sparse.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/COC.0000000000000650DOI Listing
March 2020
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