Publications by authors named "Patrick A Ott"

135 Publications

Long-term Overall Survival and Predictors in Anti-PD-1-naive Melanoma Patients With Brain Metastases Treated With Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors in the Real-world Setting: A Multicohort Study.

J Immunother 2021 10;44(8):307-318

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Long-term survival outcomes among melanoma patients with brain metastases treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors are limited. In this retrospective study at 2 centers, metastatic melanoma patients with radiographic evidence of brain metastases who received anti-programmed death-1 (PD-1) monotherapy or nivolumab in combination with ipilimumab between 2014 and 2017 were included. Overall survival (OS) was assessed in diagnosis-specific graded prognostic assessment (ds-GPA) and melanoma-molecular graded prognostic assessment (molGPA) prognostic risk groups. Baseline clinical covariates were used to identify predictors of OS in univariate/multivariable Cox proportional-hazards models. A total of 84 patients (58 monotherapy, 26 combination) were included with a median duration of follow-up of 43.4 months (maximum: 5.1 y). The median OS [95% confidence interval (CI)] was 3.1 months (1.8, 7) for ds-GPA 0-1, 22.1 months [5.4, not reached (NR)] for ds-GPA 2 and NR (24.9, NR) for ds-GPA 3-4 in the monotherapy cohort [hazard ratio (HR) for ds-GPA 3-4 vs. 0-1: 0.13 (95% CI: 0.052, 0.32); 0.29 (95% CI: 0.12, 0.63) for ds-GPA 2 vs. 0-1]. The median OS was 1.1 months (95% CI: 0.3, NR) for ds-GPA 0-1, 11.8 months (95% CI: 2.9, 23.3) for ds-GPA 2 and 24.4 months (95% CI: 3.4, NR) for ds-GPA 3-4 in the combination cohort [HR for 3-4 vs. 0-1: 0.013 (95% CI: 0.0012, 0.14); HR for ds-GPA 2 vs. 0-1: 0.033 (0.0035, 0.31)]. Predictors associated with longer survival included ds-GPA or molGPA>1 (among prognostic indices), neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (<4 vs. ≥4), while high lactate dehydrogenase, neurological symptoms, and leptomeningeal metastases were associated with shorter survival. Baseline ds-GPA/molGPA>1 and neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio <4 were strong predictors of long-term survival to anti-PD-1-based immune checkpoint inhibitors in melanoma brain metastases patients previously naive to anti-PD-1 therapy in a real-world clinical setting treated at independent centers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/CJI.0000000000000385DOI Listing
October 2021

Optimized Liquid and Gas Phase Fractionation Increases HLA-Peptidome Coverage for Primary Cell and Tissue Samples.

Mol Cell Proteomics 2021 Aug 12;20:100133. Epub 2021 Aug 12.

Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. Electronic address:

MS is the most effective method to directly identify peptides presented on human leukocyte antigen (HLA) molecules. However, current standard approaches often use 500 million or more cells as input to achieve high coverage of the immunopeptidome, and therefore, these methods are not compatible with the often limited amounts of tissue available from clinical tumor samples. Here, we evaluated microscaled basic reversed-phase fractionation to separate HLA peptide samples offline followed by ion mobility coupled to LC-MS/MS for analysis. The combination of these two separation methods enabled identification of 20% to 50% more peptides compared with samples analyzed without either prior fractionation or use of ion mobility alone. We demonstrate coverage of HLA immunopeptidomes with up to 8107 distinct peptides starting with as few as 100 million cells. The increased sensitivity obtained using our methods can provide data useful to improve HLA-binding prediction algorithms as well as to enable detection of clinically relevant epitopes such as neoantigens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mcpro.2021.100133DOI Listing
August 2021

CX-072 (pacmilimab), a Probody PD-L1 inhibitor, in advanced or recurrent solid tumors (PROCLAIM-CX-072): an open-label dose-finding and first-in-human study.

J Immunother Cancer 2021 07;9(7)

Department of Medical Oncology, Virginia Cancer Specialists, Fairfax, Virginia, USA.

Background: Probody therapeutics are antibody prodrugs that are activated in the tumor microenvironment by tumor-associated proteases, thereby restricting the activity to the tumor microenvironment and minimizing 'off-tumor' toxicity. We report dose-escalation and single-agent expansion phase data from the first-in-human study of CX-072 (pacmilimab), a Probody checkpoint inhibitor directed against programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1).

Methods: In the dose-escalation phase of this multicenter, open-label study (NCT03013491), adults with advanced solid tumors (naive to programmed-death-1/PD-L1 or cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 inhibitors) were enrolled into one of seven dose-escalation cohorts, with pacmilimab administered intravenously every 14 days. The primary endpoints were safety and determination of the maximum tolerated dose (MTD). In the expansion phase, patients with one of six prespecified malignancies (triple-negative breast cancer [TNBC]; anal squamous cell carcinoma [aSCC]; cutaneous SCC [cSCC]; undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma [UPS]; small bowel adenocarcinoma [SBA]; and thymic epithelial tumor [TET]); or high tumor mutational burden (hTMB) tumors were enrolled. The primary endpoint was objective response (Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumors v.1.1).

Results: An MTD was not reached with doses up to 30 mg/kg. A recommended phase 2 dose (RP2D) of 10 mg/kg was chosen based on pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic findings in the expansion phase. Ninety-eight patients enrolled in the expansion phase: TNBC (n=14), aSCC (n=14), cSCC (n=14), UPS (n=20), SBA (n=14), TET (n=8), and hTMB tumors (n=14). Of 114 patients receiving pacmilimab at the RP2D, grade ≥3 treatment-related adverse events (TRAEs) were reported in 10 patients (9%), serious TRAEs in six patients (5%), and treatment discontinuation due to TRAEs in two patients (2%). Grade ≥3 immune-related AEs occurred in two patients (rash, myocarditis). High PD-L1 expression (ie, >50% Tumor Proportion Score) was observed in 22/144 (19%) patients. Confirmed objective responses were observed in patients with cSCC (n=5, including one complete response), hTMB (n=4, including one complete response), aSCC (n=2), TNBC (n=1), UPS (n=1), and anaplastic thyroid cancer (n=1).

Conclusions: Pacmilimab can be administered safely at the RP2D of 10 mg/kg every 14 days. At this dose, pacmilimab had a low rate of immune-mediated toxicity and showed signs of antitumor activity in patients not selected for high PD-L1 expression.

Trial Registration Number: NCT03013491.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2021-002447DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8311335PMC
July 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 07;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

Phenotype, specificity and avidity of antitumour CD8 T cells in melanoma.

Nature 2021 08 21;596(7870):119-125. Epub 2021 Jul 21.

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, USA.

Interactions between T cell receptors (TCRs) and their cognate tumour antigens are central to antitumour immune responses; however, the relationship between phenotypic characteristics and TCR properties is not well elucidated. Here we show, by linking the antigenic specificity of TCRs and the cellular phenotype of melanoma-infiltrating lymphocytes at single-cell resolution, that tumour specificity shapes the expression state of intratumoural CD8 T cells. Non-tumour-reactive T cells were enriched for viral specificities and exhibited a non-exhausted memory phenotype, whereas melanoma-reactive lymphocytes predominantly displayed an exhausted state that encompassed diverse levels of differentiation but rarely acquired memory properties. These exhausted phenotypes were observed both among clonotypes specific for public overexpressed melanoma antigens (shared across different tumours) or personal neoantigens (specific for each tumour). The recognition of such tumour antigens was provided by TCRs with avidities inversely related to the abundance of cognate targets in melanoma cells and proportional to the binding affinity of peptide-human leukocyte antigen (HLA) complexes. The persistence of TCR clonotypes in peripheral blood was negatively affected by the level of intratumoural exhaustion, and increased in patients with a poor response to immune checkpoint blockade, consistent with chronic stimulation mediated by residual tumour antigens. By revealing how the quality and quantity of tumour antigens drive the features of T cell responses within the tumour microenvironment, we gain insights into the properties of the anti-melanoma TCR repertoire.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03704-yDOI Listing
August 2021

NCCN Guidelines® Insights: Melanoma: Cutaneous, Version 2.2021.

J Natl Compr Canc Netw 2021 04 1;19(4):364-376. Epub 2021 Apr 1.

30Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University.

Over the past few years, the NCCN Guidelines for Melanoma: Cutaneous have been expanded to include pathways for treatment of microscopic satellitosis (added in v2.2020), and the following Principles sections: Molecular Testing (added in v2.2019), Systemic Therapy Considerations (added in v2.2020), and Brain Metastases Management (added in v3.2020). The v1.2021 update included additional modifications of these sections and notable revisions to Principles of: Pathology, Surgical Margins for Wide Excision of Primary Melanoma, Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy, Completion/Therapeutic Lymph Node Dissection, and Radiation Therapy. These NCCN Guidelines Insights discuss the important changes to pathology and surgery recommendations, as well as additions to systemic therapy options for patients with advanced disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.6004/jnccn.2021.0018DOI Listing
April 2021

Analyses of PD-L1 and Inflammatory Gene Expression Association with Efficacy of Nivolumab ± Ipilimumab in Gastric Cancer/Gastroesophageal Junction Cancer.

Clin Cancer Res 2021 Jul 29;27(14):3926-3935. Epub 2021 Mar 29.

Bristol Myers Squibb, Princeton, New Jersey.

Purpose: In advanced gastric cancer/gastroesophageal junction cancer (GC/GEJC), there is a need to identify biomarkers of response to therapies, such as immune checkpoint inhibitors.

Patients And Methods: In exploratory analyses from CheckMate 032 (GC/GEJC cohort), we evaluated associations between nivolumab ± ipilimumab (NIVO ± IPI) efficacy and programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression, defined by tumor cells (% TC) or combined positive score (CPS; sum of PD-L1-staining TCs + immune cells, divided by total viable TCs, × 100) using the Dako PD-L1 IHC 28-8 pharmDx assay, or inflammatory gene expression.

Results: There was a trend toward increased efficacy (objective response and overall survival) when PD-L1 expression was determined by CPS compared with % TC at higher cutoffs of ≥5 and ≥10 in the pooled analysis of all treatment regimens. In this analysis, 19% and 26% of patients with PD-L1-positive tumors at a CPS cutoff of ≥5 and ≥10, respectively, had an objective response compared with 8% and 9% of patients at the equivalent % TC cutoffs. Longer survival was demonstrated in patients with PD-L1-positive (defined by CPS cutoffs of ≥5 and ≥10) versus PD-L1-negative status. Similar results were observed in the NIVO 1 mg/kg + IPI 3 mg/kg subgroup. Multiple inflammatory gene signatures/transcripts, including a signature consisting of four genes (, and ), showed associations with response to NIVO ± IPI.

Conclusions: This study suggests a greater association of PD-L1 expression by CPS with NIVO ± IPI efficacy compared with % TC PD-L1 expression in patients with GC/GEJC. Inflammatory signatures were also associated with NIVO ± IPI response, warranting further investigation..
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-2790DOI Listing
July 2021

Characterization of genetics in patients with mucosal melanoma treated with immune checkpoint blockade.

Cancer Med 2021 04 15;10(8):2627-2635. Epub 2021 Mar 15.

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, USA.

Mucosal melanoma is a rare form of melanoma which arises from melanocytes in the mucosal membranes and can be effectively treated with immune checkpoint blockade (ICB). However, response rates in mucosal melanoma are lower than those observed for cutaneous melanomas. Targeted sequencing of up to 447 genes (OncoPanel) was performed on tumors from all mucosal melanoma patients seen at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute from 2011 until March 2019. We identified a total of 46 patients who received ICB with both tumor-genotype and ICB response data available. Within this cohort of patients, 16 (35%) had durable clinical benefit (DCB) to their first line of ICB. The average mutational burden/megabase was 6.23 and did not correlate with tumor response to ICB. Patients with KIT aberrations had a higher DCB rate compared with patients with wildtype KIT (71 vs. 28%), but this was not found to be statistically significant. For comparison, we analyzed tumor genotypes from an additional 50 mucosal melanoma tumors and 189 cutaneous melanoma tumors. The most frequent mutations in mucosal melanoma were in SF3B1 (27%), KIT (18%), and NF1 (17%), a pattern that is distinct from cutaneous melanomas. In addition, there were genetic differences observed based upon the site of origin of the mucosal melanoma. Our findings explore clinical features of response in patients with mucosal melanoma treated with ICB and demonstrate a low mutational burden that does not correlate with response. In addition, the lack of significant association between the genetic aberrations tested and response to ICB indicates the need for further exploration in this patient population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cam4.3789DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8026918PMC
April 2021

Cytokine changes during immune-related adverse events and corticosteroid treatment in melanoma patients receiving immune checkpoint inhibitors.

Cancer Immunol Immunother 2021 Aug 22;70(8):2209-2221. Epub 2021 Jan 22.

Harvard Medical School, 25 Shattuck Street, Boston, MA, 02115, USA.

Background: Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) often cause immune-related adverse events (irAEs), most of which are treated with corticosteroids despite evidence suggesting that corticosteroids may blunt antitumor efficacy. We sought to identify cytokine changes that correlate with irAEs and study the impact of corticosteroid treatment on cytokine levels.

Methods: We analyzed expression of 34 cytokines in 52 melanoma patients who developed irAEs during therapy with ICIs. Luminex serum assay was performed at baseline, 1, 2, and 3 months after starting ICI. Baseline cytokine levels and longitudinal log fold-change was compared with incidence and grade of irAEs. Cytokine patterns were compared between patients based on development of irAEs and steroid treatment.

Results: There were no differences in baseline cytokine levels between patients who developed grade 1-2 irAEs (N = 28) vs. grade 3-4 irAEs (N = 24). Dermatitis patients (N = 8) had significantly higher baseline Ang-1 (p = 0.006) and CD40L (p = 0.005). Pneumonitis patients (N = 4) had significantly higher baseline IL-17 (p = 0.009). Colitis patients (N = 8) had a trend toward decreased GCSF (p = 0.08). Through Spearman's correlation analysis, patients who developed irAEs without receiving corticosteroids (N = 23) exhibited harmonization of cytokine fold-change, with 0/276 pairwise comparisons demonstrating significant divergence. In contrast, corticosteroid treatment in patients with irAEs (N = 15) altered fold-change to a discordant pattern (42/276 diverged, 15.2%). This discordant cytokine pattern in patients receiving corticosteroids is similar to the cytokine pattern in patients who did not develop irAEs (N = 8) during the longitudinal profiling period (41/276, 14.9%).

Conclusions: Baseline levels of certain cytokines correlate with specific irAEs in melanoma patients receiving ICIs. irAEs drive a concordant pattern of cytokine fold-change, which is disrupted by corticosteroid treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00262-021-02855-1DOI Listing
August 2021

Personal neoantigen vaccines induce persistent memory T cell responses and epitope spreading in patients with melanoma.

Nat Med 2021 03 21;27(3):515-525. Epub 2021 Jan 21.

Department of Data Sciences, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, USA.

Personal neoantigen vaccines have been envisioned as an effective approach to induce, amplify and diversify antitumor T cell responses. To define the long-term effects of such a vaccine, we evaluated the clinical outcome and circulating immune responses of eight patients with surgically resected stage IIIB/C or IVM1a/b melanoma, at a median of almost 4 years after treatment with NeoVax, a long-peptide vaccine targeting up to 20 personal neoantigens per patient ( NCT01970358 ). All patients were alive and six were without evidence of active disease. We observed long-term persistence of neoantigen-specific T cell responses following vaccination, with ex vivo detection of neoantigen-specific T cells exhibiting a memory phenotype. We also found diversification of neoantigen-specific T cell clones over time, with emergence of multiple T cell receptor clonotypes exhibiting distinct functional avidities. Furthermore, we detected evidence of tumor infiltration by neoantigen-specific T cell clones after vaccination and epitope spreading, suggesting on-target vaccine-induced tumor cell killing. Personal neoantigen peptide vaccines thus induce T cell responses that persist over years and broaden the spectrum of tumor-specific cytotoxicity in patients with melanoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41591-020-01206-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8273876PMC
March 2021

Advances in the development of personalized neoantigen-based therapeutic cancer vaccines.

Nat Rev Clin Oncol 2021 04 20;18(4):215-229. Epub 2021 Jan 20.

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, USA.

Within the past decade, the field of immunotherapy has revolutionized the treatment of many cancers with the development and regulatory approval of various immune-checkpoint inhibitors and chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapies in diverse indications. Another promising approach to cancer immunotherapy involves the use of personalized vaccines designed to trigger de novo T cell responses against neoantigens, which are highly specific to tumours of individual patients, in order to amplify and broaden the endogenous repertoire of tumour-specific T cells. Results from initial clinical studies of personalized neoantigen-based vaccines, enabled by the availability of rapid and cost-effective sequencing and bioinformatics technologies, have demonstrated robust tumour-specific immunogenicity and preliminary evidence of antitumour activity in patients with melanoma and other cancers. Herein, we provide an overview of the complex process that is necessary to generate a personalized neoantigen vaccine, review the types of vaccine-induced T cells that are found within tumours and outline strategies to enhance the T cell responses. In addition, we discuss the current status of clinical studies testing personalized neoantigen vaccines in patients with cancer and considerations for future clinical investigation of this novel, individualized approach to immunotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41571-020-00460-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7816749PMC
April 2021

A multi-center study on safety and efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors in cancer patients with kidney transplant.

Kidney Int 2021 07 24;100(1):196-205. Epub 2020 Dec 24.

Division of Nephrology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska, USA.

Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) are widely used for various malignancies. However, their safety and efficacy in patients with a kidney transplant have not been defined. To delineate this, we conducted a multicenter retrospective study of 69 patients with a kidney transplant receiving ICIs between January 2010 and May 2020. For safety, we assessed the incidence, timing, and risk factors of acute graft rejection. For efficacy, objective response rate and overall survival were assessed in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma, the most common cancers in our cohort, and compared with stage-matched 23 patients with squamous cell carcinoma and 14 with melanoma with a kidney transplant not receiving ICIs. Following ICI treatment, 29 out of 69 (42%) patients developed acute rejection, 19 of whom lost their allograft, compared with an acute rejection rate of 5.4% in the non-ICI cohort. Median time from ICI initiation to rejection was 24 days. Factors associated with a lower risk of rejection were mTOR inhibitor use (odds ratio 0.26; 95% confidence interval, 0.09-0.72) and triple-agent immunosuppression (0.67, 0.48-0.92). The objective response ratio was 36.4% and 40% in the squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma subgroups, respectively. In the squamous cell carcinoma subgroup, overall survival was significantly longer in patients treated with ICIs (median overall survival 19.8 months vs. 10.6 months), whereas in the melanoma subgroup, overall survival did not differ between groups. Thus, ICIs were associated with a high risk of rejection in patients with kidney transplants but may lead to improved cancer outcomes. Prospective studies are needed to determine optimal immunosuppression strategies to improve patient outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.kint.2020.12.015DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8222056PMC
July 2021

Combined TCR Repertoire Profiles and Blood Cell Phenotypes Predict Melanoma Patient Response to Personalized Neoantigen Therapy plus Anti-PD-1.

Cell Rep Med 2020 Nov 17;1(8):100141. Epub 2020 Nov 17.

Neon Therapeutics/BioNTech US, Cambridge, MA, USA.

T cells use highly diverse receptors (TCRs) to identify tumor cells presenting neoantigens arising from genetic mutations and establish anti-tumor activity. Immunotherapy harnessing neoantigen-specific T cells to target tumors has emerged as a promising clinical approach. To assess whether a comprehensive peripheral mononuclear blood cell analysis predicts responses to a personalized neoantigen cancer vaccine combined with anti-PD-1 therapy, we characterize the TCR repertoires and T and B cell frequencies in 21 patients with metastatic melanoma who received this regimen. TCR-α/β-chain sequencing reveals that prolonged progression-free survival (PFS) is strongly associated with increased clonal baseline TCR repertoires and longitudinal repertoire stability. Furthermore, the frequencies of antigen-experienced T and B cells in the peripheral blood correlate with repertoire characteristics. Analysis of these baseline immune features enables prediction of PFS following treatment. This method offers a pragmatic clinical approach to assess patients' immune state and to direct therapeutic decision making.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.xcrm.2020.100141DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7691446PMC
November 2020

A Phase Ib Trial of Personalized Neoantigen Therapy Plus Anti-PD-1 in Patients with Advanced Melanoma, Non-small Cell Lung Cancer, or Bladder Cancer.

Cell 2020 10;183(2):347-362.e24

Neon Therapeutics/BioNTech US, Cambridge, MA, USA.

Neoantigens arise from mutations in cancer cells and are important targets of T cell-mediated anti-tumor immunity. Here, we report the first open-label, phase Ib clinical trial of a personalized neoantigen-based vaccine, NEO-PV-01, in combination with PD-1 blockade in patients with advanced melanoma, non-small cell lung cancer, or bladder cancer. This analysis of 82 patients demonstrated that the regimen was safe, with no treatment-related serious adverse events observed. De novo neoantigen-specific CD4 and CD8 T cell responses were observed post-vaccination in all of the patients. The vaccine-induced T cells had a cytotoxic phenotype and were capable of trafficking to the tumor and mediating cell killing. In addition, epitope spread to neoantigens not included in the vaccine was detected post-vaccination. These data support the safety and immunogenicity of this regimen in patients with advanced solid tumors (Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT02897765).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2020.08.053DOI Listing
October 2020

Improved Survival Associated with Local Tumor Response Following Multisite Radiotherapy and Pembrolizumab: Secondary Analysis of a Phase I Trial.

Clin Cancer Res 2020 12 7;26(24):6437-6444. Epub 2020 Oct 7.

University of Chicago Medicine, Chicago, Illinois.

Purpose: Multisite stereotactic body radiotherapy followed by pembrolizumab (SBRT+P) has demonstrated safety in advanced solid tumors (ASTs). However, no studies have examined the relationships between irradiated tumor response, SBRT-induced tumor gene expression, and overall survival (OS).

Patients And Methods: Patients with AST received SBRT (30-50 Gy in 3-5 fractions) to two to four metastases followed by pembrolizumab (200 mg i.v. every 3 weeks). SBRT was prescribed to a maximum tumor volume of 65 mL. Small metastases received the complete prescribed coverage (complete-Rx), while larger metastases received partial coverage (partial-Rx). Treated metastasis control (TMC) was defined as a lack of progression for an irradiated metastasis. Landmark analysis was used to assess the relationship between TMC and OS. Thirty-five biopsies were obtained from 24 patients: 19 pre-SBRT and 16 post-SBRT (11 matched) prior to pembrolizumab and were analyzed via RNA microarray.

Results: Sixty-eight patients (139 metastases) were enrolled with a median follow-up of 10.4 months. One-year TMC was 89.5% with no difference between complete-Rx or partial-Rx. On multivariable analysis, TMC was independently associated with a reduced risk for death (HR, 0.36; 95% confidence interval, 0.17-0.75; = 0.006). SBRT increased expression of innate and adaptive immune genes and concomitantly decreased expression of cell cycle and DNA repair genes in the irradiated tumors. Elevated post-SBRT expression of correlated with increased expression of cytolytic T-cell genes and irradiated tumor response.

Conclusions: In the context of SBRT+P, TMC independently correlates with OS. SBRT impacts intratumoral immune gene expression associated with TMC. Randomized trials are needed to validate these findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-20-1790DOI Listing
December 2020

Vitamin D intake is associated with decreased risk of immune checkpoint inhibitor-induced colitis.

Cancer 2020 08 22;126(16):3758-3767. Epub 2020 Jun 22.

Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.

Background: There is a lack of predictive markers informing on the risk of colitis in patients treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs). The aim of this study was to identify potential factors associated with development of ICI colitis.

Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of melanoma patients at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute who received PD-1, CTLA-4, or combination ICIs between May 2011 to October 2017. Clinical and laboratory characteristics associated with pathologically confirmed ICI colitis were evaluated using multivariable logistic regression analyses. External confirmation was performed on an independent cohort from Massachusetts General Hospital.

Results: The discovery cohort included 213 patients of whom 37 developed ICI colitis (17%). Vitamin D use was recorded in 66/213 patients (31%) before starting ICIs. In multivariable regression analysis, vitamin D use conferred significantly reduced odds of developing ICI colitis (OR 0.35, 95% CI 0.1-0.9). These results were also demonstrated in the confirmatory cohort (OR 0.46, 95% CI 0.2-0.9) of 169 patients of whom 49 developed ICI colitis (29%). Pre-treatment neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) ≥5 predicted reduced odds of colitis (OR 0.34, 95% CI 0.1-0.9) only in the discovery cohort.

Conclusions: This is the first study to report that among patients treated with ICIs, vitamin D intake is associated with reduced risk for ICI colitis. This finding is consistent with prior reports of prophylactic use of vitamin D in ulcerative colitis and graft-versus-host-disease. This observation should be validated prospectively in future studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.32966DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7381363PMC
August 2020

Safety of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors in Patients With Pre-Existing Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Microscopic Colitis.

JCO Oncol Pract 2020 09 13;16(9):e933-e942. Epub 2020 May 13.

Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.

Purpose: Enterocolitis is among the leading adverse events associated with immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs). There are limited retrospective data regarding the safety of ICIs in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD; ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease) because they have been generally excluded from clinical trials testing ICIs. Furthermore, there are no outcome data available in patients with microscopic colitis, a leading cause of chronic diarrhea. We aimed to study the safety of ICIs in patients with cancer with pre-existing IBD or microscopic colitis.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the records of patients with cancer treated at our institution who received at least 1 dose of either a programmed cell death-1 (PD-1)/ PD-1 ligand inhibitor, cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 inhibitor, or both between 2011 and 2018. We identified patients with pre-existing IBD or microscopic colitis.

Results: Of 548 patients with solid tumor treated with an ICI, we identified 25 with pre-existing colitis (21 IBD; 4 microscopic colitis). An enterocolitis flare occurred in 7 patients (28%): 3 of 4 patients (75%) with microscopic colitis and 4 of 21 (19%) with IBD. All were treated with systemic corticosteroids, 2 required an anti-tumor necrosis factor agent, and one required an anti-integrin agent and colectomy for treatment of refractory colitis. ICI therapy was discontinued in all patients who experienced an enterocolitis flare.

Conclusion: In our cohort, exacerbation of enterocolitis occurred in a notable percentage of patients with IBD and a majority of patients with microscopic colitis, leading to discontinuation of ICIs. Although these data suggest that patients with cancer with pre-existing IBD/microscopic colitis may be treated with ICIs, additional studies are needed to validate our results.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JOP.19.00672DOI Listing
September 2020

Pembrolizumab for the treatment of programmed death-ligand 1-positive advanced carcinoid or pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors: Results from the KEYNOTE-028 study.

Cancer 2020 07 22;126(13):3021-3030. Epub 2020 Apr 22.

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

Background: Despite a protracted disease course and multiple available therapies, patients with well-differentiated neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) inevitably experience disease progression. Programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) has been associated with NET progression and prognosis. The multicohort, phase 1 KEYNOTE-028 study (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT02054806) evaluated the activity and safety of the anti-programmed cell death protein 1 immunotherapy pembrolizumab in patients with well-differentiated or moderately-differentiated NETs.

Methods: Patients with PD-L1-positive, locally advanced or metastatic carcinoid or well-differentiated or moderately-differentiated pancreatic NETs (pNETs) were enrolled into separate cohorts and received pembrolizumab at a dose of 10 mg/kg every 2 weeks for up to 2 years. The objective response rate was the primary endpoint (as per Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors version 1.1, by investigator review). Safety was a secondary endpoint.

Results: Of 170 and 106 patients, respectively, who had evaluable samples among those screened for the carcinoid and pNET cohorts, 21% and 25%, respectively, had PD-L1-positive tumors; of these, 25 and 16 patients, respectively, were eligible and treated. The median follow-up was 20 months (range, 2-35 months) and 21 months (range, 5-32 months), respectively. The objective response rate was 12.0% (95% CI, 2.5%-31.2%) and 6.3% (95% CI, 0.2%-30.2%), respectively; 3 partial responses occurred among the carcinoid cohort and 1 among the pNET cohort. The median duration of response in the carcinoid cohort was 9.2 months (range, 6.9-11.1 months), and was not reached in the pNET cohort. No complete responses occurred. Treatment-related adverse events occurred in 68% and 69% of patients, respectively, most often diarrhea (7 patients in the carcinoid cohort and 4 patients in the pNET cohort) and fatigue (6 patients in each cohort). Hypothyroidism was the most common immune-mediated adverse event (5 patients in the carcinoid cohort and 2 patients in the pNET cohort).

Conclusions: Pembrolizumab demonstrated antitumor activity in a subset of patients with NETs and was well-tolerated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.32883DOI Listing
July 2020

The Safety and Efficacy of Checkpoint Inhibitors in Transplant Recipients: A Case Series and Systematic Review of Literature.

Oncologist 2020 06 11;25(6):505-514. Epub 2020 Feb 11.

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Limited data exist on safety and efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) among organ transplant recipients. The objective of this study was to report a case series of two patients with renal transplant who received treatment with an ICI and to conduct a pooled analysis of published cases to describe the safety and efficacy of ICIs in organ transplant patients. A systematic search in the Google Scholar and PubMed databases was carried out to include all the published cases of organ transplant patients who received treatment with ICIs including programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1), programmed death-ligand 1, or cytotoxic lymphocyte antigen-4 inhibitors since their inscription to January 31, 2019. In the present series of two cases with renal allografts who received pembrolizumab, one patient with squamous cell carcinoma of the skin experienced complete response (CR), whereas another patient with melanoma had a mixed response. Both patients experienced allograft rejection, but graft was salvaged. The pooled analysis of 64 patients published in literature showed that overall allograft rejection rate is 41% in organ transplant recipients following ICI therapy. The graft rejection rate was 44% (17/39) for renal, 39% (7/19) for liver, and 20% (1/5) for cardiac allografts. The highest risk was seen among patients who were treated with PD-1 inhibitors, 20/42 (48%)-13/24 (54%) on nivolumab and 7/18 (39%) on pembrolizumab. The risk was lowest with ipilimumab, 23% (3/13). The overall response rate (CR + partial response [PR]) was 20% with ipilimumab, 26% with nivolumab, and 53% with pembrolizumab, whereas disease control rate (CR + PR + stable disease) was 35% with ipilimumab, 37% with nivolumab, and 53% with pembrolizumab. None of the variables including age, gender, type of cancer, type of allograft, type of immunosuppression, time since transplantation to initiation of ICI, and prior history of rejection were significantly associated with the transplant rejection on univariate analysis. The efficacy of ICI among patients with organ transplant appears promising, warranting testing in prospective clinical trials. The risk of rejection and allograft loss is considerable; therefore, the risk and alternative form of therapies should be thoroughly discussed with the transplant patients prior to initiating ICI therapy. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: Transplant recipients are at higher risk of developing cancers. Although immune checkpoint inhibitors have been shown to improve the outcome in more than one cancer type, transplant recipients were excluded from these trials. Most of the data on the safety and efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors in transplant patients are based upon case series and case reports. The pooled data from these reports suggest that anti-programmed death-ligand 1 inhibitors have reasonable safety and efficacy among organ transplant patients, which warrants testing in clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1634/theoncologist.2019-0659DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7288631PMC
June 2020

NCCN Guidelines Insights: Uveal Melanoma, Version 1.2019.

J Natl Compr Canc Netw 2020 02;18(2):120-131

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

The NCCN Guidelines for Uveal Melanoma include recommendations for staging, treatment, and follow-up of patients diagnosed with uveal melanoma of the choroid or ciliary body. In addition, because distinguishing between uveal melanoma and benign uveal nevi is in some cases difficult, these guidelines also contain recommendations for workup of patients with suspicious pigmented uveal lesions, to clarify the tests needed to distinguish between those who should have further workup and treatment for uveal melanoma versus those with uncertain diagnosis and low risk who should to be followed and later reevaluated. These NCCN Guidelines Insights describe recommendations for treatment of newly diagnosed nonmetastatic uveal melanoma in patients who have already undergone a complete workup.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.6004/jnccn.2020.0007DOI Listing
February 2020

Directing Traffic: How to Effectively Drive T Cells into Tumors.

Cancer Discov 2020 02 23;10(2):185-197. Epub 2020 Jan 23.

Department of Medical Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts.

Although immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) have demonstrated clinical activity in multiple tumor types, the majority of patients do not respond to ICI monotherapy. Mounting evidence suggests that ICI-mediated clinical responses rely upon tumor infiltration by T cells that are able to recognize and kill cancer cells. Here, we review therapeutic modalities that have been shown to promote T-cell infiltration into human tumors in studies to date, and discuss emerging data guiding how these modalities can be sequenced in order to optimize T-cell effector function and memory T-cell generation, while minimizing overactivation and potential toxicity. SIGNIFICANCE: The lack of preexisting T-cell inflammation in tumors is a major barrier to effective cancer immunity. A deep understanding of the mechanisms that prevent T cells from trafficking into the tumor in a given individual will be critical for tailoring immunotherapy combinations that can overcome resistance to ICI in patients with cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/2159-8290.CD-19-0790DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7007384PMC
February 2020

Automated Flow Synthesis of Tumor Neoantigen Peptides for Personalized Immunotherapy.

Sci Rep 2020 01 20;10(1):723. Epub 2020 Jan 20.

Department of Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA, 02139, USA.

High-throughput genome sequencing and computation have enabled rapid identification of targets for personalized medicine, including cancer vaccines. Synthetic peptides are an established mode of cancer vaccine delivery, but generating the peptides for each patient in a rapid and affordable fashion remains difficult. High-throughput peptide synthesis technology is therefore urgently needed for patient-specific cancer vaccines to succeed in the clinic. Previously, we developed automated flow peptide synthesis technology that greatly accelerates the production of synthetic peptides. Herein, we show that this technology permits the synthesis of high-quality peptides for personalized medicine. Automated flow synthesis produces 30-mer peptides in less than 35 minutes and 15- to 16-mer peptides in less than 20 minutes. The purity of these peptides is comparable with or higher than the purity of peptides produced by other methods. This work illustrates how automated flow synthesis technology can enable customized peptide therapies by accelerating synthesis and increasing purity. We envision that implementing this technology in clinical settings will greatly increase capacity to generate clinical-grade peptides on demand, which is a key step in reaching the full potential of personalized vaccines for the treatment of cancer and other diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-56943-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6971261PMC
January 2020

Pembrolizumab After Two or More Lines of Previous Therapy in Patients With Recurrent or Metastatic SCLC: Results From the KEYNOTE-028 and KEYNOTE-158 Studies.

J Thorac Oncol 2020 04 20;15(4):618-627. Epub 2019 Dec 20.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts.

Introduction: Pembrolizumab has shown clinical benefit in patients with previously treated recurrent or metastatic SCLC in the phase 1b multicohort study KEYNOTE-028 (NCT02054806) and the phase 2 multicohort study KEYNOTE-158 (NCT02628067). We present a pooled analysis of patients from KEYNOTE-028 and KEYNOTE-158 who had received two or more lines of previous therapy for SCLC.

Methods: Eligible patients were aged 18 years and above, had histologically or cytologically confirmed incurable recurrent or metastatic SCLC, had an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 1 and below, and had received two or more lines of previous therapy. Patients in KEYNOTE-028 were required to have a programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1)-positive tumor. Patients received pembrolizumab (10 mg/kg every 2 weeks in KEYNOTE-028 or 200 mg every 3 weeks in KEYNOTE-158) for up to 2 years. The primary end point was objective response rate per Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors version 1.1, which is presented here per independent review.

Results: Eighty-three patients who had received two or more lines of previous therapy (KEYNOTE-028, n = 19; KEYNOTE-158, n = 64) were included. Median follow-up duration was 7.7 (range, 0.5-48.7) months. Objective response rate was 19.3% (95% confidence interval: 11.4-29.4); two patients had complete response (one with a PD-L1-positive tumor), and 14 patients had partial response (13 with PD-L1-positive tumors). The median duration of response was not reached (range, 4.1‒35.8+ mo; plus sign indicates ongoing response); 61% of responders had responses lasting 18 months or longer. Fifty-one patients (61.4%) experienced any-grade treatment-related adverse events; eight patients (9.6%) had grade 3 or higher events.

Conclusions: Pembrolizumab exhibited durable antitumor activity in a subset of patients with recurrent or metastatic SCLC who had undergone two or more previous lines of therapy, regardless of PD-L1 expression. Pembrolizumab was well tolerated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtho.2019.12.109DOI Listing
April 2020

Real-world Treatment Patterns and Clinical Outcomes Across Lines of Therapy in Patients With Advanced/Metastatic Gastric or Gastroesophageal Junction Cancer.

Clin Colorectal Cancer 2020 03 24;19(1):32-38.e3. Epub 2019 Sep 24.

Gastrointestinal and Lymphoma Unit, The Royal Marsden Hospital, Surrey, United Kingdom.

Background: First-line (1L) and second-line (2L) therapies for advanced/metastatic gastric cancer (GC) and gastroesophageal junction cancer (GEJC) have modest efficacy, and therapeutic options in subsequent lines are limited as disease progresses. We assessed real-world treatment patterns and outcomes for advanced/metastatic GC/GEJC.

Patients And Methods: Adult patients diagnosed with advanced/metastatic GC/GEJC between January 1, 2011 and April 30, 2018 were identified using the Flatiron Health database. Median overall survival (OS) from start of each line of therapy until death was estimated by the Kaplan-Meier method. Duration of therapy (DoT) was time from start date until end date of each line.

Results: We identified 3291 patients with advanced/metastatic GC/GEJC adenocarcinoma. At diagnosis, the median age was 68 years, 60% were white, 53% had initial stage IV disease, and 57% had GC. Of these 3291 patients, most (75%) received at least 1 therapy; 32% received 2L, 14% received third-line (3L) therapy, and 6% received at least 4 lines of therapy (4L+). The median OS from start of 1L was 10.7 months (2L, 7.6 months; 3L, 6.1 months; 4L+, 2.8 months). The median DoT in 1L was 2.2 months (2L, 2.1 months; 3L, 1.7 months; 4L+, 3.0 months). Use of targeted and immunotherapies generally increased progressively with each subsequent line of therapy.

Conclusion: One-quarter of patients with advanced/metastatic GC/GEJC remained untreated, and only approximately one-half of patients receiving 1L therapy received subsequent treatment. In all lines of therapy, OS was generally poor and DoT was short. More effective treatment options are needed across all lines of therapy for this highly burdensome disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.clcc.2019.09.001DOI Listing
March 2020

Combined Vaccination with NY-ESO-1 Protein, Poly-ICLC, and Montanide Improves Humoral and Cellular Immune Responses in Patients with High-Risk Melanoma.

Cancer Immunol Res 2020 01 7;8(1):70-80. Epub 2019 Nov 7.

Tisch Cancer Institute, Departments of Medicine, Hematology and Medical Oncology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York.

Given its ability to induce both humoral and cellular immune responses, NY-ESO-1 has been considered a suitable antigen for a cancer vaccine. Despite promising results from early-phase clinical studies in patients with melanoma, NY-ESO-1 vaccine immunotherapy has not been widely investigated in larger trials; consequently, many questions remain as to the optimal vaccine formulation, predictive biomarkers, and sequencing and timing of vaccines in melanoma treatment. We conducted an adjuvant phase I/II clinical trial in high-risk resected melanoma to optimize the delivery of poly-ICLC, a TLR-3/MDA-5 agonist, as a component of vaccine formulation. A phase I dose-escalation part was undertaken to identify the MTD of poly-ICLC administered in combination with NY-ESO-1 and montanide. This was followed by a randomized phase II part investigating the MTD of poly-ICLC with NY-ESO-1 with or without montanide. The vaccine regimens were generally well tolerated, with no treatment-related grade 3/4 adverse events. Both regimens induced integrated NY-ESO-1-specific CD4 T-cell and humoral responses. CD8 T-cell responses were mainly detected in patients receiving montanide. T-cell avidity toward NY-ESO-1 peptides was higher in patients vaccinated with montanide. In conclusion, NY-ESO-1 protein in combination with poly-ICLC is safe, well tolerated, and capable of inducing integrated antibody and CD4 T-cell responses in most patients. Combination with montanide enhances antigen-specific T-cell avidity and CD8 T-cell cross-priming in a fraction of patients, indicating that montanide contributes to the induction of specific CD8 T-cell responses to NY-ESO-1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/2326-6066.CIR-19-0545DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6946846PMC
January 2020

Adoption of immunotherapy in the community for patients diagnosed with metastatic melanoma.

J Immunother Cancer 2019 11 7;7(1):289. Epub 2019 Nov 7.

Division of Urological Surgery and Center for Surgery and Public Health, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: The introduction of immune checkpoint inhibitors has led to a survival benefit in patients with advanced melanoma; however data on the adoption of immunotherapy in the community are scarce.

Methods: Using the National Cancer Database, we identified 4725 patients aged ≥20 diagnosed with metastatic melanoma in the United States between 2011 and 2015. Multinomial regression was used to identify factors associated with the receipt of treatment at a low vs. high immunotherapy prescribing hospital, defined as the bottom and top quintile of hospitals according to their proportion of treating metastatic melanoma patients with immunotherapy.

Results: We identified 246 unique hospitals treating patients with metastatic melanoma. Between 2011 and 2015, the proportion of hospitals treating at least 20% of melanoma patients with immunotherapy within 90 days of diagnosis increased from 14.5 to 37.7%. The mean proportion of patients receiving immunotherapy was 7.8% (95% Confidence Interval [CI] 7.47-8.08) and 50.9% (95%-CI 47.6-54.3) in low and high prescribing hospitals, respectively. Predictors of receiving care in a low prescribing hospital included underinsurance (no insurance: relative risk ratio [RRR] 2.44, 95%-CI 1.28-4.67, p = 0.007; Medicaid: RRR 2.10, 95%-CI 1.12-3.92, p = 0.020), care in urban areas (RRR 2.58, 95%-CI 1.34-4.96, p = 0.005) and care at non-academic facilities (RRR 5.18, 95%CI 1.69-15.88, p = 0.004).

Conclusion: While the use of immunotherapy for metastatic melanoma has increased over time, adoption varies widely across hospitals. Underinsured patients were more likely to receive treatment at low immunotherapy prescribing hospitals. The variation suggests inequity in access to these potentially life-saving drugs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40425-019-0782-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6836520PMC
November 2019

Nivolumab Monotherapy and Nivolumab Plus Ipilimumab in Recurrent Small Cell Lung Cancer: Results From the CheckMate 032 Randomized Cohort.

J Thorac Oncol 2020 03 17;15(3):426-435. Epub 2019 Oct 17.

Sarah Cannon Research Institute/Tennessee Oncology Nashville, Nashville, Tennessee.

Introduction: Nivolumab monotherapy is approved in the United States for third-line or later metastatic small cell lung cancer based on pooled data from nonrandomized and randomized cohorts of the multicenter, open-label, phase 1/2 trial of nivolumab ± ipilimumab (CheckMate 032; NCT01928394). We report updated results, including long-term overall survival (OS), from the randomized cohort.

Methods: Patients with small cell lung cancer and disease progression after one to two prior chemotherapy regimens were randomized 3:2 to nivolumab 3 mg/kg every 2 weeks or nivolumab 1 mg/kg plus ipilimumab 3 mg/kg every 3 weeks for four cycles followed by nivolumab 3 mg/kg every 2 weeks. Patients were stratified by number of prior chemotherapy regimens and treated until disease progression or unacceptable toxicity. The primary endpoint was objective response rate (ORR) by blinded independent central review.

Results: Overall, 147 patients received nivolumab and 96 nivolumab plus ipilimumab. Minimum follow-up for ORR/progression-free survival/safety was 11.9 months (nivolumab) and 11.2 months (nivolumab plus ipilimumab). ORR increased with nivolumab plus ipilimumab (21.9% versus 11.6% with nivolumab; odds ratio: 2.12; 95% confidence interval: 1.06-4.26; p = 0.03). For long-term OS, minimum follow-up was 29.0 months (nivolumab) versus 28.4 months (nivolumab plus ipilimumab); median (95% confidence interval) OS was 5.7 (3.8-7.6) versus 4.7 months (3.1-8.3). Twenty-four-month OS rates were 17.9% (nivolumab) and 16.9% (nivolumab plus ipilimumab). Grade 3 to 4 treatment-related adverse event rates were 12.9% (nivolumab) versus 37.5% (nivolumab plus ipilimumab), and treatment-related deaths were n =1 versus n = 3, respectively.

Conclusions: Whereas ORR (primary endpoint) was higher with nivolumab plus ipilimumab versus nivolumab, OS was similar between groups. In each group, OS remained encouraging with long-term follow-up. Toxicities were more common with combination therapy versus nivolumab monotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtho.2019.10.004DOI Listing
March 2020

Developing real-world comparators for clinical trials in chemotherapy-refractory patients with gastric cancer or gastroesophageal junction cancer.

Gastric Cancer 2020 01 23;23(1):133-141. Epub 2019 Sep 23.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Lawrenceville, NJ, USA.

Background: There are few third-line or later (3L+) treatment options for advanced/metastatic (adv/met) gastric cancer/gastroesophageal junction cancers (GC/GEJC). 3L+ Nivolumab demonstrated encouraging results in Asian patients in the ATTRACTION-2 study compared with placebo (12-month survival, 26% vs 11%), and in Western patients in the single-arm CheckMate 032 study (12-month survival, 44%). This analysis aimed to establish comparator cohorts of US patients receiving routine care in real-world (RW) clinical practice.

Methods: A 2-step matching process generated RW cohorts from Flatiron Health's oncology database (January 1, 2011-April 30, 2017), for comparison with each trial: (1) clinical trial eligibility criteria were applied; (2) patients were frequency-matched with trial arms for baseline variables significantly associated with survival. Median overall survival (OS) was calculated by Kaplan-Meier analysis from last treatment until death.

Results: Of 742 adv/met GC/GEJC patients with at least 2 prior lines of therapy, matching generated 90 US RW ATTRACTION-2-matched patients (median OS: 3.5 months) versus 163 ATTRACTION-2 placebo patients (median OS: 4.1 months), and 100 US RW CheckMate 032-matched patients (median OS: 2.9 months) versus 42 CheckMate 032 nivolumab-treated patients (median OS: 8.5 months). Baseline characteristics were generally similar between clinical trial arms and RW-matched cohorts.

Conclusions: We successfully developed RW cohorts for comparison with data from clinical trials, with comparable baseline characteristics. Survival in US patients receiving RW care was similar to that seen in Asian patients receiving placebo in ATTRACTION-2; survival with nivolumab in CheckMate 032 appeared favorable compared with US RW clinical practice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10120-019-01008-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6942583PMC
January 2020

An Update on Adoptive T-Cell Therapy and Neoantigen Vaccines.

Am Soc Clin Oncol Educ Book 2019 Jan 17;39:e70-e78. Epub 2019 May 17.

4 Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD.

Adoptive T-cell therapy using tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) has demonstrated long-lasting antitumor activity in select patients with advanced melanoma. Cancer vaccines have been used for many decades and have shown some promise but overall relatively modest clinical activity across cancers. Technological advances in genome sequencing capabilities and T-cell engineering have had substantial impact on both adoptive cell therapy and the cancer vaccine field. The ability to identify neoantigens-a class of tumor antigens that is truly tumor specific and encoded by tumor mutations through rapid and relatively inexpensive next-generation sequencing-has already demonstrated the critical importance of these antigens as targets of antitumor-specific T-cell responses in the context of immune checkpoint blockade and other immunotherapies. Therapeutically targeting these antigens with either adoptive T-cell therapy or vaccine approaches has demonstrated early promise in the clinic in patients with advanced solid tumors. Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells, which are engineered by fusing an antigen-specific, single-chain antibody (scFv) with signaling molecules of the T-cell receptor (TCR)/CD3 complex creating an antibody-like structure on T cells that recognizes antigens independently of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules, have demonstrated remarkable clinical activity in patients with advanced B-cell malignancies, leading to several approvals by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/EDBK_238001DOI Listing
January 2019
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