Publications by authors named "Ronnie Shapira-Frommer"

47 Publications

Comparison of non-myeloablative lymphodepleting preconditioning regimens in patients undergoing adoptive T cell therapy.

J Immunother Cancer 2021 May;9(5)

Ella Lemelbaum Institute for Immuno-Oncology, Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, Tel Hashomer, Israel

Background: Adoptive cell therapy with T cells genetically engineered to express a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR-T) or tumor-infiltrating T lymphocytes (TIL) demonstrates impressive clinical results in patients with cancer. Lymphodepleting preconditioning prior to cell infusion is an integral part of all adoptive T cell therapies. However, to date, there is no standardization and no data comparing different non-myeloablative (NMA) regimens.

Methods: In this study, we compared NMA therapies with different doses of cyclophosphamide or total body irradiation (TBI) in combination with fludarabine and evaluated bone marrow suppression and recovery, cytokine serum levels, clinical response and adverse events.

Results: We demonstrate that a cumulative dose of 120 mg/kg cyclophosphamide and 125 mg/m fludarabine (120Cy/125Flu) and 60Cy/125Flu preconditioning were equally efficient in achieving deep lymphopenia and neutropenia in patients with metastatic melanoma, whereas absolute lymphocyte counts (ALCs) and absolute neutrophil counts were significantly higher following 200 cGyTBI/75Flu-induced NMA. Thrombocytopenia was most profound in 120Cy/125Flu patients. 30Cy/75Flu-induced preconditioning in patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia resulted in a minor ALC decrease, had no impact on platelet counts and did not yield deep neutropenia. Following cell infusion, 120Cy/125Flu patients with objective tumor response had significantly higher ALC and significant lower inflammatory indexes, such as neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) and platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio (PLR). Receiver-operating characteristics curve analysis 7 days after cell infusion was performed to determine the cut-offs, which distinguish between responding and non-responding patients in the 120Cy/125Flu cohort. NLR≤1.79 and PLR≤32.7 were associated with clinical response and overall survival. Cytokine serum levels did not associate with clinical response in patients with TIL. Patients in the 120Cy/125Flu cohort developed significantly more acute NMA-related adverse events, including thrombocytopenia, febrile neutropenia and cardiotoxicity, and stayed significantly longer in hospital compared with the 60Cy/125Flu and TBI/75Flu cohorts.

Conclusions: Bone marrow depletion and recovery were equally affected by 120Cy/125Flu and 60Cy/125Flu preconditioning; however, toxicity and consequently duration of hospitalization were significantly lower in the 60Cy/125Flu cohort. Patients in the 30Cy/75Flu and TBI/75Flu groups rarely developed NMA-induced adverse events; however, both regimens were not efficient in achieving deep bone marrow suppression. Among the regimens, 60Cy/125Flu preconditioning seems to achieve maximum effect with minimum toxicity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2020-001743DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8127974PMC
May 2021

A phase 1a/1b trial of CSF-1R inhibitor LY3022855 in combination with durvalumab or tremelimumab in patients with advanced solid tumors.

Invest New Drugs 2021 Apr 14. Epub 2021 Apr 14.

Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, IN, USA.

Background LY3022855 is a recombinant, immunoglobulin, human monoclonal antibody targeting the colony-stimulating factor-1 receptor. This phase 1 trial determined the safety, pharmacokinetics, and antitumor activity of LY3022855 in combination with durvalumab or tremelimumab in patients with advanced solid cancers who had received standard anti-cancer treatments. Methods In Part A (dose-escalation), patients received intravenous (IV) LY3022855 25/50/75/100 mg once weekly (QW) combined with durvalumab 750 mg once every two weeks (Q2W) IV or LY3022855 50 or 100 mg QW IV with tremelimumab 75/225/750 mg once every four weeks. In Part B (dose-expansion), patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) or ovarian cancer (OC) received recommended phase 2 dose (RP2D) of LY3022855 from Part A and durvalumab 750 mg Q2W. Results Seventy-two patients were enrolled (median age 61 years): Part A = 33, Part B = 39. In Part A, maximum tolerated dose was not reached, and LY3022855 100 mg QW and durvalumab 750 mg Q2W was the RP2D. Four dose-limiting equivalent toxicities occurred in two patients from OC cohort. In Part A, maximum concentration, area under the concentration-time curve, and serum concentration showed dose-dependent increase over two cycles of therapy. Overall rates of complete response, partial response, and disease control were 1.4%, 2.8%, and 33.3%. Treatment-emergent anti-drug antibodies were observed in 21.2% of patients. Conclusions LY3022855 combined with durvalumab or tremelimumab in patients with advanced NSCLC or OC had limited clinical activity, was well tolerated. The RP2D was LY3022855 100 mg QW with durvalumab 750 mg Q2W. ClinicalTrials.gov ID: NCT02718911 (Registration Date: May 3, 2011).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10637-021-01088-4DOI Listing
April 2021

Efficacy and safety of pembrolizumab in patients with advanced mesothelioma in the open-label, single-arm, phase 2 KEYNOTE-158 study.

Lancet Respir Med 2021 06 6;9(6):613-621. Epub 2021 Apr 6.

University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.

Background: Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) has few treatment options. Pembrolizumab showed preliminary clinical benefit in programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1)-positive MPM. We evaluated the efficacy and safety of pembrolizumab monotherapy in patients with previously treated MPM irrespective of PD-L1 status in the KEYNOTE-158 study.

Methods: The ongoing open-label, multicohort, single-arm, phase 2 KEYNOTE-158 study enrolled eligible adults (≥18 years) with MPM who had progression on or intolerance to standard therapy, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status 0-1, and biomarker-evaluable tumour samples. Individuals were enrolled from 35 academic facilities and community-based institutions across 14 countries in Australia, North America, Europe, and Asia. Participants received pembrolizumab 200 mg intravenously every 3 weeks for up to 35 cycles. The primary efficacy endpoint was objective response per Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) version 1.1, based on radiological imaging every 9 weeks for the first year of the study and every 12 weeks thereafter and assessed by independent central review. Efficacy and safety were analysed in all patients who received at least one dose of pembrolizumab. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02628067.

Findings: Patients were enrolled in the MPM cohort between Feb 9, 2016, and Aug 16, 2016. As of June 27, 2019, 118 patients had been enrolled and received at least one dose of pembrolizumab. Ten (8% [95% CI 4-15]) patients had an objective response. Median duration of objective response was 14·3 months (range 4·0 to 33·9+), and 60% of objective responses were ongoing at 12 months. Objective responses were observed in six (8%) of 77 patients with PD-L1-positive MPM (median response duration 17·7 months [range 5·8 to 33·9+]) and four (13%) of 31 patients with PD-L1-negative MPM (10·2 months [4·0-16·6]). Median overall survival was 10·0 months (95% CI 7·6-13·4) and median progression-free survival was 2·1 months (2·1-3·9). Treatment-related adverse events occurred in 82 (69%) of 118 patients and serious adverse events that were considered to be treatment-related occurred in 14 (12%) of 118 patients. 19 (16%) patients had grade 3-4 treatment-related events, and most common of these were colitis (three patients), hyponatraemia (three), and pneumonitis (two). One patient died from treatment-related apnoea. By the end of the trial, 113 (96%) patients had discontinued pembrolizumab and progressive disease was the most common reason for discontinuation.

Interpretation: Pembrolizumab showed durable antitumour activity and manageable toxicity in patients with advanced MPM, regardless of PD-L1 status. Our data support the programmed death 1 (PD-1) and PD-L1 pathway as a potential therapeutic target in some patients with previously treated mesothelioma but biomarkers that can effectively identify such patients are yet to be elucidated.

Funding: Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp, a subsidiary of Merck & Co, Inc, Kenilworth, NJ, USA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-2600(20)30515-4DOI Listing
June 2021

Population exposure-efficacy and exposure-safety analyses for rucaparib in patients with recurrent ovarian carcinoma from Study 10 and ARIEL2.

Gynecol Oncol 2021 Jun 19;161(3):668-675. Epub 2021 Mar 19.

Clinical Pharmacology, Clovis Oncology, Inc., Boulder, CO, USA.

Objective: To evaluate correlations between rucaparib exposure and selected efficacy and safety endpoints in patients with recurrent ovarian carcinoma using pooled data from Study 10 and ARIEL2.

Methods: Efficacy analyses were limited to patients with carcinomas harboring a deleterious BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation who had received ≥2 prior lines of chemotherapy. Safety was evaluated in all patients who received ≥1 rucaparib dose. Steady-state daily area under the concentration-time curve (AUC) and maximum concentration (C) for rucaparib were calculated for each patient and averaged by actual dose received over time (AUC and C) using a previously developed population pharmacokinetic model.

Results: Rucaparib exposure was dose-proportional and not associated with baseline patient weight. In the exposure-efficacy analyses (n = 121), AUC was positively associated with independent radiology review-assessed RECIST response in the subgroup of patients with platinum-sensitive recurrent disease (n = 75, p = 0.017). In the exposure-safety analyses (n = 393, 40 mg once daily to 840 mg twice daily [BID] starting doses), most patients received a 600 mg BID rucaparib starting dose, with 27% and 21% receiving 1 or ≥2 dose reductions, respectively. C was significantly correlated with grade ≥2 serum creatinine increase, grade ≥3 alanine transaminase/aspartate transaminase increase, platelet decrease, fatigue/asthenia, and maximal hemoglobin decrease (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: The exposure-response analyses provide support for the approved starting dose of rucaparib 600 mg BID for maximum clinical benefit with subsequent dose modification only following the occurrence of a treatment-emergent adverse event in patients with BRCA-mutated recurrent ovarian carcinoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2021.03.015DOI Listing
June 2021

Utilizing an interim futility analysis of the OVAL study (VB-111-701/GOG 3018) for potential reduction of risk: A phase III, double blind, randomized controlled trial of ofranergene obadenovec (VB-111) and weekly paclitaxel in patients with platinum resistant ovarian cancer.

Gynecol Oncol 2021 May 23;161(2):496-501. Epub 2021 Feb 23.

Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.

Objective: Report the results from a preplanned interim analysis of a phase III, double blind, randomized controlled study of ofranergene obadenovec (VB-111), a targeted anti-cancer gene therapy, in combination with paclitaxel in patients with platinum resistant ovarian cancer (PROC).

Methods: The OVAL (NCT03398655) study is an on-going study where patients are randomly assigned in a 1:1 ratio to weekly paclitaxel 80 mg/m with VB-111 or placebo. The protocol specifies a pre-planned unblinded futility interim analysis of CA-125 response per GCIG criteria in the first 60 evaluable patients. The futility rule determined for this analysis was that the response rate of VB-111 must be greater than the response rate of placebo by at least 10% in order to continue the study. Coincident with the interim analysis, the blinded CA-125 response rate was estimated as a proportion of the first 60 evaluable patients with CA-125 response per GCIG criteria. Post-treatment fever is provided as a possible surrogate marker of VB-111 therapy activity.

Results: The median age of the evaluable patients was 62 years (range 41-82); 97% had high-grade serous cancer; 58% had been treated with 3 or more previous lines of therapy, 70% received prior anti-angiogenic treatment, 43% received prior PARP inhibitors. CA-125 response in the VB-111 and weekly paclitaxel treated arm met the pre-specified interim criterion of an absolute advantage of 10% or higher compared to the control. Blinded results show a 53% CA-125 response rate (32/60) with 15% complete response (n=9). Assuming balanced randomization and an absolute advantage of 10% or higher to the VB-111 arm, it may be deducted that the response in the VB-111 treatment arm is 58% or higher. Among patients with post-treatment fever, the CA-125 response rate was 69%.

Conclusions: At the time of the interim analysis, response rate findings are comparable to the responses seen in a similar patient population in the phase I/II study. The independent data and safety monitoring committee (iDSMC) recommended continuing the OVAL trial as planned. No new safety signals were identified.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2021.02.014DOI Listing
May 2021

Fecal microbiota transplant promotes response in immunotherapy-refractory melanoma patients.

Science 2021 02 10;371(6529):602-609. Epub 2020 Dec 10.

Azrieli Faculty of Medicine, Bar Ilan University, Safed, Israel.

The gut microbiome has been shown to influence the response of tumors to anti-PD-1 (programmed cell death-1) immunotherapy in preclinical mouse models and observational patient cohorts. However, modulation of gut microbiota in cancer patients has not been investigated in clinical trials. In this study, we performed a phase 1 clinical trial to assess the safety and feasibility of fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) and reinduction of anti-PD-1 immunotherapy in 10 patients with anti-PD-1-refractory metastatic melanoma. We observed clinical responses in three patients, including two partial responses and one complete response. Notably, treatment with FMT was associated with favorable changes in immune cell infiltrates and gene expression profiles in both the gut lamina propria and the tumor microenvironment. These early findings have implications for modulating the gut microbiota in cancer treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.abb5920DOI Listing
February 2021

Association of tumour mutational burden with outcomes in patients with advanced solid tumours treated with pembrolizumab: prospective biomarker analysis of the multicohort, open-label, phase 2 KEYNOTE-158 study.

Lancet Oncol 2020 10 10;21(10):1353-1365. Epub 2020 Sep 10.

Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea.

Background: Tumour mutational burden (TMB) has been retrospectively correlated with response to immune checkpoint blockade. We prospectively explored the association of high tissue TMB (tTMB-high) with outcomes in ten tumour-type-specific cohorts from the phase 2 KEYNOTE-158 study, which assessed the anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody pembrolizumab in patients with selected, previously treated, advanced solid tumours.

Methods: In the multi-cohort, open-label, non-randomised, phase 2 KEYNOTE-158 study, patients were enrolled from 81 academic facilities and community-based institutions across 21 countries in Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe. Eligible patients were aged 18 years or older, had a histologically or cytologically confirmed advanced (ie, unresectable or metastatic, or both) incurable solid tumour (eligible tumour types were anal, biliary, cervical, endometrial, mesothelioma, neuroendocrine, salivary, small-cell lung, thyroid, and vulvar), progression on or intolerance to one or more lines of standard therapy, had measurable disease per Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST; version 1.1) assessed by independent central radiological review, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 0 or 1, life expectancy of at least 3 months, adequate organ function, and a tumour sample for biomarker analysis. Participants were given pembrolizumab 200 mg intravenously every 3 weeks for up to 35 cycles. Tissue TMB (tTMB) was assessed in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumour samples using the FoundationOne CDx assay (Foundation Medicine, Cambridge, MA, USA). The prespecified definition of tTMB-high status was at least 10 mutations per megabase. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients with an objective response (complete or partial response) as per Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumours (version 1.1) by independent central review. This prespecified analysis assessed the association between antitumour activity and tTMB in treated patients with evaluable tTMB data. Efficacy was assessed in all participants who received at least one dose of pembrolizumab, had evaluable tTMB data, and were enrolled at least 26 weeks before data cutoff (June 27, 2019), and safety was assessed in all participants who received at least one dose of pembrolizumab and had tTMB-high status. KEYNOTE-158 is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02628067, and is ongoing.

Findings: Between Jan 15, 2016, and June 25, 2019, 1073 patients were enrolled. 1066 participants were treated as of data cutoff (June 27, 2019), of whom 805 (76%) were evaluable for TMB, and 105 (13%) of 805 had tTMB-high status and were assessed for safety. 1050 (98%) of 1066 patients enrolled by at least 26 weeks before data cutoff, of whom 790 (75%) were evaluable for TMB and included in efficacy analyses. 102 (13%) of these 790 patients had tTMB-high status (≥10 mutations per megabase), and 688 (87%) patients had non-tTMB-high status (<10 mutations per megabase). Median study follow-up was 37·1 months (IQR 35·0-38·3). Objective responses were observed in 30 (29%; 95% CI 21-39) of 102 patients in the tTMB-high group and 43 (6%; 5-8) of 688 in the non-tTMB-high group. 11 (10%) of 105 patients had treatment-related serious adverse events. 16 (15%) participants had a grade 3-5 treatment-related adverse event, of which colitis was the only such adverse event that occurred in more than one patient (n=2). One patient had fatal pneumonia that was assessed by the investigator to be treatment related.

Interpretation: tTMB-high status identifies a subgroup of patients who could have a robust tumour response to pembrolizumab monotherapy. tTMB could be a novel and useful predictive biomarker for response to pembrolizumab monotherapy in patients with previously treated recurrent or metastatic advanced solid tumours.

Funding: Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp, a subsidiary of Merck & Co, Inc.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30445-9DOI Listing
October 2020

Real World Outcomes of Ipilimumab and Nivolumab in Patients with Metastatic Melanoma.

Cancers (Basel) 2020 Aug 18;12(8). Epub 2020 Aug 18.

Ella Lemelbaum Institute for Immuno-Oncology, Sheba Medical Center, Ramat Gan 52621, Israel.

Immunotherapy has drastically changed the outlook for melanoma patients over the past decade. Specifically, the dual blockade of immune checkpoints using ipilimumab and nivolumab has shown unprecedented response rates and survival outcomes. This immense achievement, though, is at the cost of toxicity, with 60% of the patients experiencing high-grade adverse events (AEs). Our study aims to report the efficacy and toxicity outcomes of an out-of-trial, real-life population. Data on metastatic melanoma patients treated with ipilimumab and nivolumab were retrieved from our melanoma database-a single-center prospectively updated, medical-records based oncologic registry. Data included demographics, clinical and pathological information, as well as tumor responses and survival. Associations between patient or treatment characteristics and outcomes were also evaluated. We identified 172 metastatic melanoma patients, of whom 64% were treatment-naïve. The median follow-up was 12 months. The response rates for treatment-naïve and previously-treated patients were 61% and 25%, respectively; median progression-free survival (PFS) were 12.2 and 2.6 months, and median overall survival (OS) were not-reached (NR) and 6.1 months, respectively. The estimated three-year OS for treatment-naïve patients was 58% (95% CI 42-65). At data cutoff, 22% were still on-treatment. Grade 3-4 adverse events (AEs) were reported in 60% of the patients, almost all of whom were exposed to steroid treatments (59%); AEs were fatal in 4 patients, and led to permanent treatment discontinuation in 31%. Factors significantly associated with outcome were cutaneous histology, low lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), low number of metastatic sites, performance status, first line of treatment and number of combinations administered during the induction phase. Despite the profoundly different baseline patient characteristics, the combination of ipilimumab and nivolumab is as effective in the real-world population as it was in clinical trials, including long-term outcomes. In addition to confirming the significance of baseline prognostic factors, our study reveals that the number of combinations effectively administered may also be correlated with good outcome.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/cancers12082329DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7464656PMC
August 2020

Comprehensive single institute experience with melanoma TIL: Long term clinical results, toxicity profile, and prognostic factors of response.

Mol Carcinog 2020 07 6;59(7):736-744. Epub 2020 Apr 6.

Ella Lemelbaum Institute for Immuno Oncology, Sheba Medical Center, Ramat Gan, Israel.

Adoptive cell transfer (ACT) of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) mediates objective responses in 30% to 50% of patients with metastatic melanoma according to multiple, small phase 2 trials. Here we report the long-term clinical results, intent-to-treat analysis, predictors of response and toxicity profile in a large patient cohort. A total of 179 refractory melanoma patients were enrolled in the ACT trial. TIL were administered in combination with high-dose bolus interleukin-2 following preconditioning with cyclophosphamide and fludarabine. Patients were followed-up for a median of 7.2 years. A total of 107 (60%) of 179 enrolled patients were treated. The main reason for the drop out of the study was clinical deterioration. Of 103 evaluated patients, 29 patients (28%) achieved an objective response (OR), including complete remission (8%) or partial response (20%). Sixteen pateints exhibited stable disease. Predictors of response were performance status, time of TIL in culture and CD8 frequency in the infusion product. The absolute lymphocyte count 1 and 2 weeks after TIL infusion was the most predictive parameter of response. With a medium follow-up time of 7.2 years, OR patients reached a median overall survival (OS) of 58.45 months and a median progression-free survival (PFS) of 15.43 months, as compared with nonresponders, with 6.73 months OS and 2.60 months PFS. By 6 years, 50% of OR patients were alive and 43% had no documented progression. TIL ACT can yield durable objective responses, even as salvage therapy in highly advanced metastatic melanoma patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mc.23193DOI Listing
July 2020

Efficacy and Safety of Pembrolizumab in Previously Treated Advanced Neuroendocrine Tumors: Results From the Phase II KEYNOTE-158 Study.

Clin Cancer Res 2020 05 24;26(9):2124-2130. Epub 2020 Jan 24.

Department of Head and Neck Oncology, Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France.

Purpose: KEYNOTE-158 (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02628067) investigated the efficacy and safety of pembrolizumab across multiple cancers. We present results from patients with previously treated advanced well-differentiated neuroendocrine tumors (NET).

Patients And Methods: Pembrolizumab 200 mg was administered every 3 weeks for 2 years or until progression, intolerable toxicity, or physician/patient decision. Tumor imaging was performed every 9 weeks for the first year and then every 12 weeks. Endpoints included objective response rate (ORR) per RECIST v1.1 by independent central radiologic review (primary) and duration of response (DOR), progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and safety (secondary).

Results: A total of 107 patients with NETs of the lung, appendix, small intestine, colon, rectum, or pancreas were treated. Median age was 59.0 years (range, 29-80), 44.9% had ECOG performance status 1, 40.2% had received ≥3 prior therapies for advanced disease, and 15.9% had PD-L1-positive tumors (combined positive score ≥1). Median follow-up was 24.2 months (range, 0.6-33.4). ORR was 3.7% (95% CI, 1.0-9.3), with zero complete responses and four partial responses (three pancreatic and one rectal) all in patients with PD-L1-negative tumors. Median DOR was not reached, with one of four responses ongoing after ≥21 months follow-up. Median PFS was 4.1 months (95% CI, 3.5-5.4); the 6-month PFS rate was 39.3%. Median OS was 24.2 months (95% CI, 15.8-32.5). Treatment-related adverse events (AE) occurred in 75.7% of patients, 21.5% of whom had grade 3-5 AEs.

Conclusions: Pembrolizumab monotherapy showed limited antitumor activity and manageable safety in patients with previously treated advanced well-differentiated NETs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-19-3014DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7811789PMC
May 2020

Antitumor activity of the poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor rucaparib as monotherapy in patients with platinum-sensitive, relapsed, -mutated, high-grade ovarian cancer, and an update on safety.

Int J Gynecol Cancer 2019 11;29(9):1396-1404

Imperial College London, London, UK.

Objective: To report results from an integrated efficacy and safety analysis supporting the European Commission's approval of the poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor rucaparib as monotherapy treatment for relapsed, platinum-sensitive, -mutated ovarian cancer.

Methods: Efficacy was analyzed in platinum-sensitive patients from Study 10 (NCT01482715) and ARIEL2 (NCT01891344) who had high-grade serous or endometrioid epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube, or primary peritoneal cancer and a deleterious or mutation and received two or more prior chemotherapies (including two or more platinum-based therapies). The primary end point was investigator-assessed, confirmed objective response rate (visit cut-off: April 10, 2017). Safety was analyzed in patients with ovarian cancer, regardless of mutation status or lines of prior chemotherapies, who received at least one dose of rucaparib 600 mg in either study (visit cut-off: December 31, 2017).

Results: In the integrated platinum-sensitive efficacy population (n=79), objective response rate was 64.6% (95% CI, 53.0 to 75.0); 10.1% (8/79) of patients had a complete response and 54.4% (43/79) had a partial response. Median duration of response was 294 days (95% CI, 224 to 393). In the integrated safety population (n=565), the most common any-grade treatment-emergent adverse events were nausea (77.7%, 439/565), asthenia/fatigue (74.7%, 422/565), vomiting (45.8%, 259/565), and hemoglobin decreased (44.2%, 250/565). Treatment-emergent adverse events led to treatment interruption, dose reduction, or discontinuation in 60.2% (340/565), 46.0% (260/565), and 16.8% (95/565) of patients.

Conclusions: In patients with platinum-sensitive, -mutated ovarian cancer, rucaparib demonstrated antitumor activity and is the first and currently the only poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor approved by the European Commission as treatment for this population. The safety analysis used a more recent visit cut-off date and larger population than previously published, was consistent with prior reports, and was the basis for the treatment-indication safety population in rucaparib's recently updated European Union label.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/ijgc-2019-000623DOI Listing
November 2019

Efficacy of Pembrolizumab in Patients With Noncolorectal High Microsatellite Instability/Mismatch Repair-Deficient Cancer: Results From the Phase II KEYNOTE-158 Study.

J Clin Oncol 2020 01 4;38(1):1-10. Epub 2019 Nov 4.

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY.

Purpose: Genomes of tumors that are deficient in DNA mismatch repair (dMMR) have high microsatellite instability (MSI-H) and harbor hundreds to thousands of somatic mutations that encode potential neoantigens. Such tumors are therefore likely to be immunogenic, triggering upregulation of immune checkpoint proteins. Pembrolizumab, an anti‒programmed death-1 monoclonal antibody, has antitumor activity against MSI-H/dMMR cancer. We report data from the phase II KEYNOTE-158 study of pembrolizumab in patients with previously treated, advanced noncolorectal MSI-H/dMMR cancer.

Patients And Methods: Eligible patients with histologically/cytologically confirmed MSI-H/dMMR advanced noncolorectal cancer who experienced failure with prior therapy received pembrolizumab 200 mg once every 3 weeks for 2 years or until disease progression, unacceptable toxicity, or patient withdrawal. Radiologic imaging was performed every 9 weeks for the first year of therapy and every 12 weeks thereafter. The primary end point was objective response rate per Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) version 1.1, as assessed by independent central radiologic review.

Results: Among 233 enrolled patients, 27 tumor types were represented, with endometrial, gastric, cholangiocarcinoma, and pancreatic cancers being the most common. Median follow up was 13.4 months. Objective response rate was 34.3% (95% CI, 28.3% to 40.8%). Median progression-free survival was 4.1 months (95% CI, 2.4 to 4.9 months) and median overall survival was 23.5 months (95% CI, 13.5 months to not reached). Treatment-related adverse events occurred in 151 patients (64.8%). Thirty-four patients (14.6%) had grade 3 to 5 treatment-related adverse events. Grade 5 pneumonia occurred in one patient; there were no other treatment-related fatal adverse events.

Conclusion: Our study demonstrates the clinical benefit of anti-programmed death-1 therapy with pembrolizumab among patients with previously treated unresectable or metastatic MSI-H/dMMR noncolorectal cancer. Toxicity was consistent with previous experience of pembrolizumab monotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.19.02105DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8184060PMC
January 2020

TNFSF4 (OX40L) expression and survival in locally advanced and metastatic melanoma.

Cancer Immunol Immunother 2019 Sep 9;68(9):1493-1500. Epub 2019 Sep 9.

Department of Oncology, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, 6997801, Tel Aviv, Israel.

Immunotherapy with checkpoint inhibitors revolutionized melanoma treatment in both the adjuvant and metastatic setting, yet not all metastatic patients respond, and metastatic disease still often recurs among immunotherapy-treated patients with locally advanced disease. TNFSF4 is a co-stimulatory checkpoint protein expressed by several types of immune and non-immune cells, and was shown in the past to enhance the anti-neoplastic activity of T cells. Here, we assessed its expression in melanoma and its association with outcome in locally advanced and metastatic disease. We used publicly available data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and the Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia (CCLE), and RNA sequencing data from anti-PD1-treated patients at Sheba medical center. TNFSF4 mRNA is expressed in melanoma cell lines and melanoma samples, including those with low lymphocytic infiltrates, and is not associated with the ulceration status of the primary tumor. Low expression of TNFSF4 mRNA is associated with worse prognosis in all melanoma patients and in the cohorts of stage III and stage IIIc-IV patients. Low expression of TNFSF4 mRNAs is also associated with worse prognosis in the subgroup of patients with low lymphocytic infiltrates, suggesting that tumoral TNFSF4 is associated with outcome. TNFSF4 expression was not correlated with the expression of other known checkpoint mRNAs. Last, metastatic patients with TNFSF4 mRNA expression within the lowest quartile have significantly worse outcome on anti-PD1 treatment, and a significantly lower response rate to these agents. Our current work points to TNFSF4 expression in melanoma as a potential determinant of prognosis, and warrants further translational and clinical research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00262-019-02382-0DOI Listing
September 2019

Efficacy and Safety of Pembrolizumab in Previously Treated Advanced Cervical Cancer: Results From the Phase II KEYNOTE-158 Study.

J Clin Oncol 2019 06 3;37(17):1470-1478. Epub 2019 Apr 3.

10 Gustave Roussy Cancer Campus and University of Paris-Saclay, Villejuif, France.

Purpose: KEYNOTE-158 ( ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT02628067) is a phase II basket study investigating the antitumor activity and safety of pembrolizumab in multiple cancer types. We present interim results from patients with previously treated advanced cervical cancer.

Patients And Methods: Patients received pembrolizumab 200 mg every 3 weeks for 2 years or until progression, intolerable toxicity, or physician or patient decision. Tumor imaging was performed every 9 weeks for the first 12 months and every 12 weeks thereafter. The primary end point was objective response rate (ORR), assessed per Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (version 1.1) by independent central radiologic review. Safety was a secondary end point.

Results: Ninety-eight patients were treated. Median age was 46.0 years (range, 24 to 75 years), and 65.3% of patients had Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status of 1. Eighty-two patients (83.7%) had programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1)-positive tumors (combined positive score ≥ 1), 77 having previously received one or more lines of chemotherapy for recurrent or metastatic disease. Median follow-up was 10.2 months (range, 0.6 to 22.7 months). ORR was 12.2% (95% CI, 6.5% to 20.4%), with three complete and nine partial responses. All 12 responses were in patients with PD-L1-positive tumors, for an ORR of 14.6% (95% CI, 7.8% to 24.2%); 14.3% (95% CI, 7.4% to 24.1%) of these responses were in those who had received one or more lines of chemotherapy for recurrent or metastatic disease. Median duration of response was not reached (range, ≥ 3.7 to ≥ 18.6 months). Treatment-related adverse events occurred in 65.3% of patients, and the most common were hypothyroidism (10.2%), decreased appetite (9.2%), and fatigue (9.2%). Treatment-related grade 3 to 4 adverse events occurred in 12.2% of patients.

Conclusion: Pembrolizumab monotherapy demonstrated durable antitumor activity and manageable safety in patients with advanced cervical cancer. On the basis of these results, the US Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval of pembrolizumab for patients with advanced PD-L1-positive cervical cancer who experienced progression during or after chemotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.18.01265DOI Listing
June 2019

Recurrent Pneumonitis in Patients with Melanoma Treated with Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors.

Oncologist 2019 05 18;24(5):640-647. Epub 2019 Feb 18.

Ella Lemelbaum Institute for Immuno-Oncology, Sheba Medical Center, Ramat Gan, Israel

Introduction: Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have changed the oncologic landscape in the past few years. Alongside impressive antitumor responses, new novel immune-related adverse events (irAEs) have emerged; pneumonitis is an irAE that can potentially be fatal and necessitates a proper management. No consensus exists regarding steroid treatment duration or drug rechallenge options. Our study describes the clinical and radiological course of melanoma patients diagnosed with immune-related pneumonitis that has recurred because of rechallenge attempt or despite complete treatment discontinuation (unprovoked).

Materials And Methods: The study population was composed of patients with metastatic melanoma who were treated with anti-programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) as monotherapy or in combination with anti-cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen-4 and who were diagnosed with immune-related pneumonitis. For recurrent cases after clinical and radiological resolution, we explored the differences from cases with no recurrence.

Results: Nineteen out of 386 (4.8%) patients treated with ICI were diagnosed with pneumonitis. Median age was 66 years, and 53% were male. Compared with single-agent nivolumab, patients treated with ipilimumab-nivolumab combination presented with an earlier onset (27.5 vs. 10.3 weeks, respectively, = .015) and had higher grades of severity. After complete resolution, rechallenge was attempted in seven patients; three of them had recurrent pneumonitis. Three other patients experienced recurrent pneumonitis despite complete discontinuation of the drug (unprovoked by rechallenge). The latter were characterized with an earlier onset of the first pneumonitis compared with those who did not experience recurrence (median, 12.4 vs. 26.4 weeks) and a shorter course of steroid treatment at first episode (median, 5.1 vs. 10 weeks). Recurrent cases were generally more severe than the first episode.

Conclusion: Unprovoked recurrent pneumonitis is a new, poorly reported entity that requires further investigation. Our observations suggest that cases of pneumonitis that present early in the course of immunotherapy treatment may recur despite treatment discontinuation, thus necessitating closer monitoring and a longer course of steroid treatment.

Implications For Practice: This article sheds light on a poorly described immune-related adverse event: recurrent pneumonitis despite complete discontinuation of immunotherapy (unprovoked), in patients with advanced melanoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1634/theoncologist.2018-0352DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6516115PMC
May 2019

Immunotherapy comes of age in octagenarian and nonagenarian metastatic melanoma patients.

Eur J Cancer 2019 02 14;108:61-68. Epub 2019 Jan 14.

The Ella Lemelbaum Institute for Immuno-Oncology, Sheba Medical Center, Tel-HaShomer, Israel; Department of Clinical Immunology and Microbiology, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel. Electronic address:

Immunotherapy with anti-programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) agents is an effective treatment for metastatic melanoma. Recent data hint at better response to therapy for patients over age 65 years. Patients with metastatic melanoma in their 80's and 90's pose a clinical challenge. We describe a cohort of 144 patients ≥65 years and analyse the efficacy and toxicity of anti-PD-1 therapy in ages 80-100 years compared with ages 65-79 years. Records of metastatic melanoma patients aged 65-100 years treated with anti-PD-1 were collected retrospectively. Baseline parameters, response rate (overall response rate [ORR]), best response, progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) and immune-related adverse events were analysed. Cox regression, t test, and chi-square test were used for statistical analysis. Five hundred patients were treated with anti-PD-1 agents between 2013 and 2018.Eighty-two patients were aged 65-79 years (group A, median 71.5 years), and 62 patients were aged 80-100 years (group B, median 84 years, range 80-97 years). Baseline parameters were comparable except for worse PS in group B (p = 0.001). One hundred twenty-four patients were evaluable for analysis of response (76 group A, 48 group B). A trend was noted for higher ORR in the older group with 62.3% for group A and 73.9% for group B (p = 0.09). Complete response was significantly higher in group B versus group A (47.9% versus 20%, p = 0.001). No significant difference was found in PFS or OS between the groups. Toxicity for all patients was similar at 22.8%-25.6% G2-4 adverse events. Elderly patients show enhanced response to anti-PD-1 therapy. Increasing age within the elderly patients group may predict an even better response to therapy and comparable survival in patients of very old age.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2018.12.012DOI Listing
February 2019

Efficacy and safety of niraparib as maintenance treatment in older patients (≥ 70 years) with recurrent ovarian cancer: Results from the ENGOT-OV16/NOVA trial.

Gynecol Oncol 2019 03 9;152(3):560-567. Epub 2019 Jan 9.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, USA.

Objective: To analyze the safety and efficacy of niraparib in patients aged ≥70 years with recurrent ovarian cancer in the ENGOT-OV16/NOVA trial.

Methods: The trial enrolled 2 independent cohorts with histologically diagnosed recurrent ovarian, fallopian tube, or peritoneal cancer who responded to platinum rechallenge, on the basis of germline breast cancer susceptibility gene mutation (gBRCAmut) status. Patients were randomized 2:1 to receive niraparib (300 mg) or placebo once daily until disease progression. The primary endpoint was progression-free survival (PFS) by blinded independent central review. Adverse events (AEs) of special interest were based on the known safety profile of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitors.

Results: Patients aged ≥70 years in the gBRCAmut cohort receiving niraparib (n = 14) had not yet reached a median PFS compared with a median PFS of 3.7 months for the same age group in the placebo arm (hazard ratio [HR], 0.09 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.01 to 0.73]). Non-gBRCAmut patients aged ≥70 years receiving niraparib (n = 47) had a median PFS of 11.3 months compared with 3.8 months in the placebo arm (HR, 0.35 [95% CI, 0.18 to 0.71]). Median duration of follow-up in the niraparib arm was 17.3 months in patients ≥70 years and 17.2 months in patients <70 years. Frequency, severity of AEs, and dose reductions in the niraparib arm were similar in patients aged <70 and ≥ 70 years population. The most common grade ≥ 3 AEs in patients ≥70 years were hematologic: thrombocytopenia event (34.4%), anemia event (13.1%), and neutropenia event (16.4%).

Conclusions: For patients ≥70 years of age receiving niraparib as maintenance treatment in the ENGOT-OV16/NOVA trial, PFS benefits and incidence of any grade or serious treatment-emergent AEs were comparable to results in the younger population. Use of niraparib should be considered in this population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2018.12.009DOI Listing
March 2019

Long-term efficacy, tolerability and overall survival in patients with platinum-sensitive, recurrent high-grade serous ovarian cancer treated with maintenance olaparib capsules following response to chemotherapy.

Br J Cancer 2018 10 24;119(9):1075-1085. Epub 2018 Oct 24.

University College London Cancer Institute, London, UK.

Background: In Study 19, maintenance monotherapy with olaparib significantly prolonged progression-free survival vs placebo in patients with platinum-sensitive, recurrent high-grade serous ovarian cancer.

Methods: Study 19 was a randomised, placebo-controlled, Phase II trial enrolling 265 patients who had received at least two platinum-based chemotherapy regimens and were in complete or partial response to their most recent regimen. Patients were randomised to olaparib (capsules; 400 mg bid) or placebo. We present long-term safety and final mature overall survival (OS; 79% maturity) data, from the last data cut-off (9 May 2016).

Results: Thirty-two patients (24%) received maintenance olaparib for over 2 years; 15 (11%) did so for over 6 years. No new tolerability signals were identified with long-term treatment and adverse events were generally low grade. The incidence of discontinuations due to adverse events was low (6%). An apparent OS advantage was observed with olaparib vs placebo (hazard ratio 0.73, 95% confidence interval 0.55‒0.95, P = 0.02138) irrespective of BRCA1/2 mutation status, although the predefined threshold for statistical significance was not met.

Conclusions: Study 19 showed a favourable final OS result irrespective of BRCA1/2 mutation status and unprecedented long-term benefit with maintenance olaparib for a subset of platinum-sensitive, recurrent ovarian cancer patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41416-018-0271-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6219499PMC
October 2018

Clinical Significance of Pancreatic Atrophy Induced by Immune-Checkpoint Inhibitors: A Case-Control Study.

Cancer Immunol Res 2018 12 1;6(12):1453-1458. Epub 2018 Oct 1.

Department of Clinical Immunology and Microbiology, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.

Immune-checkpoint inhibitor (ICI)-related diarrhea is attributed to inflammatory colitis, with no other drug-related differential diagnosis. Here, we investigated the occurrence of pancreatic atrophy (PA) in ICI-treated cancer patients and its correlation to exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI). Metastatic melanoma, non-small cell lung carcinoma, and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma patients ( = 403) treated with anti-PD-1 ( = 356) or anti-CTLA-4 ( = 47) were divided into a case group (radiologic evidence of PA); control group matched by age, gender, and previous lines of treatment; and colitis group (ICI-induced colitis). Quantitative pancreatic volumetry was used for calculation of the decrease in pancreatic volume over time (atrophy rate). Thirty-one patients (7.7%) developed PA compared with 41 matched controls ( = 0.006). Four patients developed EPI, all from the anti-PD-1-treated group, which resolved with oral enzyme supplementation. The atrophy rate did not correlate with EPI ( = 0.87). EPI-related diarrhea presented at a median of 9 months, whereas the diarrhea of anti-PD-1-induced colitis patients ( = 22) was presented at a median of 2 months ( = 0.029). ICI-induced PA is irreversible and can result in EPI. EPI should be suspected in cases of late-onset steroid-resistant diarrhea with features of steatorrhea and treated with oral enzyme supplements.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/2326-6066.CIR-17-0659DOI Listing
December 2018

Possible immune adverse events as predictors of durable response to BRAF inhibitors in patients with BRAF V600-mutant metastatic melanoma.

Eur J Cancer 2018 09 7;101:229-235. Epub 2018 Aug 7.

Ella Lemelbaum Institute for Immuno-Oncology, Sheba Medical Center, Ramat-Gan, Israel; Department of Clinical Microbiology and Immunology, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Israel; Talpiot Medical Leadership Program, Sheba Medical Center, Ramat-Gan, Israel.

BRAF inhibitors (BRAFi) and MEK inhibitors (MEKi) are among the cornerstones of metastatic melanoma therapy demonstrating excellent response rates with duration of 7-12 m. Long-term benefit from these agents was reported in patients with normal lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and less than three disease sites. However, a treatment-dependent marker for long-term efficacy is lacking. Data suggest that immune-related adverse events (irAEs) are associated with clinical benefit in patients treated with immunotherapy and that response to BRAF/MEK therapy may have an underlying immune mechanism. We hypothesised that AEs with an underlying immune mechanism may be associated with a durable response to targeted therapy. We retrospectively identified a cohort of 78 BRAF V600-mutant metastatic melanoma patients treated with BRAFi or BRAFi + MEKi between November 2010 and November 2013. Four treatment-related AEs including vitiligo, uveitis, erythema nodosum and keratitis sicca were defined as irAEs of interest. Retrospective analysis of AEs in relationship to progression-free survival (PFS), disease burden and LDH levels was performed. Median PFS (mPFS) for all patients was 7.5 months with responses ongoing in eight patients as of April 2017. Ten patients were identified with the AEs defined previously. Cox regression analysis revealed a very strong association between those AEs and PFS; mPFS was 42.8 m in patients with at least one AE versus 6.1 m in those without an AE (hazard ratio [HR] 0.22, p = 0.002). This association was independent of LDH levels and disease burden (HR 0.24, p = 0.035). This analysis demonstrates a strong association between immune AEs and durable response to targeted therapy and may provide a treatment-related biomarker to estimate the outcome of therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejca.2018.06.030DOI Listing
September 2018

Development of MK-8353, an orally administered ERK1/2 inhibitor, in patients with advanced solid tumors.

JCI Insight 2018 02 22;3(4). Epub 2018 Feb 22.

Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Background: Constitutive activation of ERK1/2 occurs in various cancers, and its reactivation is a well-described resistance mechanism to MAPK inhibitors. ERK inhibitors may overcome the limitations of MAPK inhibitor blockade. The dual mechanism inhibitor SCH772984 has shown promising preclinical activity across various BRAFV600/RAS-mutant cancer cell lines and human cancer xenografts.

Methods: We have developed an orally bioavailable ERK inhibitor, MK-8353; conducted preclinical studies to demonstrate activity, pharmacodynamic endpoints, dosing, and schedule; completed a study in healthy volunteers (P07652); and subsequently performed a phase I clinical trial in patients with advanced solid tumors (MK-8353-001). In the P07652 study, MK-8353 was administered as a single dose in 10- to 400-mg dose cohorts, whereas in the MK-8353-001 study, MK-8353 was administered in 100- to 800-mg dose cohorts orally twice daily. Safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and antitumor activity were analyzed.

Results: MK-8353 exhibited comparable potency with SCH772984 across various preclinical cancer models. Forty-eight patients were enrolled in the P07652 study, and twenty-six patients were enrolled in the MK-8353-001 study. Adverse events included diarrhea (44%), fatigue (40%), nausea (32%), and rash (28%). Dose-limiting toxicity was observed in the 400-mg and 800-mg dose cohorts. Sufficient exposure to MK-8353 was noted that correlated with biological activity in preclinical data. Three of fifteen patients evaluable for treatment response in the MK-8353-001 study had partial response, all with BRAFV600-mutant melanomas.

Conclusion: MK-8353 was well tolerated up to 400 mg twice daily and exhibited antitumor activity in patients with BRAFV600-mutant melanoma. However, antitumor activity was not particularly correlated with pharmacodynamic parameters.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01358331.

Funding: Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co. Inc., and NIH (P01 CA168585 and R35 CA197633).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.92352DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5916243PMC
February 2018

Rheumatic manifestations among cancer patients treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors.

Autoimmun Rev 2018 Mar 16;17(3):284-289. Epub 2018 Jan 16.

Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel; Ella Lemelbaum Institute for Immuno-Oncology, Sheba Medical Center, Israel. Electronic address:

Background: The use of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) has grown incessantly since they were first approved in 2014. These monoclonal antibodies inhibit T cell activation, yielding a dramatic tumor response with improved survival. However, immunotherapy is frequently hampered by immune adverse events (iAE) such as hypophysitis, colitis, hepatitis, pneumonitis and rash. Until recently, rheumatic side effects were only infrequently reported.

Aim: To describe the rheumatic manifestations encountered among patients treated with ICIs in a large tertiary cancer center in Israel METHODS: The cancer center's patient registry was screened for patients who had ever been treated with ipilimumab, pembrolizumab and/or nivolumab with relevant data gathered from clinical charts.

Results: Rheumatic manifestations were encountered in 14 of 400 patients (3.5%) who had received immunotherapy between January 1st 2013 and April 30th, 2017. The most common rheumatic manifestation was inflammatory arthritis (85%) for which a third (4/11) had a clear cut predisposing factor such as a personal or family history of psoriasis, a prior episode of uveitis or ACPA positivity. Pulmonary sarcoidosis and biopsy-proven eosinophilic fasciitis were diagnosed in two additional patients. Treatment with NSAIDS was mostly unsuccessful while steroid therapy was beneficial in doses ≥20 mg/d. Methotrexate enabled steroid tapering without an excess of side effects or tumor progression in the short follow-up available. Overall, rheumatic manifestations tended to occur later in the course of immunotherapy as compared to other iAE.

Conclusions: Our findings underscore that rheumatic iAE are part of the side effect profile of ICIs and require heightened awareness as these therapies are becoming the standard of care for various malignancies. We show that these appear later in the course of iAEs and respond preferentially to high dose steroids. MTX appears effective as a steroid sparing agent.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.autrev.2018.01.003DOI Listing
March 2018

Antitumor activity and safety of the PARP inhibitor rucaparib in patients with high-grade ovarian carcinoma and a germline or somatic BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation: Integrated analysis of data from Study 10 and ARIEL2.

Gynecol Oncol 2017 11 4;147(2):267-275. Epub 2017 Sep 4.

University College London Cancer Institute, 72 Huntley St, London WC1E 6BT, UK.

Objective: An integrated analysis was undertaken to characterize the antitumor activity and safety profile of the oral poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor rucaparib in patients with relapsed high-grade ovarian carcinoma (HGOC).

Methods: Eligible patients from Study 10 (NCT01482715) and ARIEL2 (NCT01891344) who received a starting dose of oral rucaparib 600mg twice daily (BID) with or without food were included in these analyses. The integrated efficacy population included patients with HGOC and a deleterious germline or somatic BRCA1 or BRCA2 (BRCA1/2) mutation who received at least two prior chemotherapies and were sensitive, resistant, or refractory to platinum-based chemotherapy. The primary endpoint was investigator-assessed confirmed objective response rate (ORR). Secondary endpoints included duration of response (DOR) and progression-free survival (PFS). The integrated safety population included patients with HGOC who received at least one dose of rucaparib 600mg BID, irrespective of BRCA1/2 mutation status and prior treatments.

Results: In the efficacy population (n=106), ORR was 53.8% (95% confidence interval [CI], 43.8-63.5); 8.5% and 45.3% of patients achieved complete and partial responses, respectively. Median DOR was 9.2months (95% CI, 6.6-11.6). In the safety population (n=377), the most frequent treatment-emergent adverse events (AEs) were nausea, asthenia/fatigue, vomiting, and anemia/hemoglobin decreased. The most common grade ≥3 treatment-emergent AE was anemia/hemoglobin decreased. Treatment-emergent AEs led to treatment interruption, dose reduction, and treatment discontinuation in 58.6%, 45.9%, and 9.8% of patients, respectively. No treatment-related deaths occurred.

Conclusions: Rucaparib has antitumor activity in advanced BRCA1/2-mutated HGOC and a manageable safety profile.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2017.08.022DOI Listing
November 2017

Baseline clinical predictors of antitumor response to the PARP inhibitor olaparib in germline BRCA1/2 mutated patients with advanced ovarian cancer.

Oncotarget 2017 Jul;8(29):47154-47160

Drug Development Unit, The Institute of Cancer Research and The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.

Background: The PARP inhibitor olaparib was recently granted Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accelerated approval in patients with advanced BRCA1/2 mutation ovarian cancer. However, antitumor responses are observed in only approximately 40% of patients and the impact of baseline clinical factors on response to treatment remains unclear. Although platinum sensitivity has been suggested as a marker of response to PARP inhibitors, patients with platinum-resistant disease still respond to olaparib.

Results: 108 patients with advanced BRCA1/2 mutation ovarian cancers were included. The interval between the end of the most recent platinum chemotherapy and PARPi (PTPI) was used to predict response to olaparib independent of conventional definition of platinum sensitivity. RECIST complete response (CR) and partial response (PR) rates were 35% in patients with platinum-sensitive versus 13% in platinum-resistant (p<0.005). Independent of platinum sensitivity status, the RECIST CR/PR rates were 42% in patients with PTPI greater than 52 weeks and 18% in patients with PTPI less than 52 weeks (p=0.016). No association was found between baseline clinical factors such as FIGO staging, debulking surgery, BRCA1 versus BRCA2 mutations, prior history of breast cancer and prior chemotherapy for breast cancer, and the response to olaparib.

Methods: We conducted an international multicenter retrospective study to investigate the association between baseline clinical characteristics of patients with advanced BRCA1/2 mutation ovarian cancers from eight different cancer centers and their antitumor response to olaparib.

Conclusion: PTPI may be used to refine the prediction of response to PARP inhibition based on the conventional categorization of platinum sensitivity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.17005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5564551PMC
July 2017

A Phase I-II Study of the Oral PARP Inhibitor Rucaparib in Patients with Germline -Mutated Ovarian Carcinoma or Other Solid Tumors.

Clin Cancer Res 2017 Aug 6;23(15):4095-4106. Epub 2017 Mar 6.

Department of Oncology, Sheba Medical Center, Ramat Gan, Israel.

Rucaparib is a potent, oral, small-molecule PARP inhibitor. This phase I-II study was the first to evaluate single-agent oral rucaparib at multiple doses. Part 1 (phase I) sought to determine the MTD, recommended phase II dose (RP2D), and pharmacokinetics of oral rucaparib administered in 21-day continuous cycles in patients with advanced solid tumors. Part 2A (phase II) enrolled patients with platinum-sensitive, high-grade ovarian carcinoma (HGOC) associated with a germline mutation who received two to four prior regimens and had a progression-free interval of 6 months or more following their most recent platinum therapy. The primary endpoint was investigator-assessed objective response rate (ORR) by RECIST version 1.1. In part 1, 56 patients received oral rucaparib (40 to 500 mg once daily and 240 to 840 mg twice daily). No MTD was identified per protocol-defined criteria; 600 mg twice daily was selected as the RP2D based on manageable toxicity and clinical activity. Pharmacokinetics were approximately dose-proportional across all dose levels. In part 2A, 42 patients with germline -mutated HGOC received rucaparib 600 mg twice daily. Investigator-assessed ORR was 59.5%. The most common treatment-emergent adverse events (all grades) were asthenia/fatigue (85.7%; 36/42), nausea (83.3%; 35/42), anemia (71.4%; 30/42), alanine transaminase and/or aspartate transaminase elevations (57.1%; 24/42), and vomiting (54.8%; 23/42). Among 98 patients, 5 (5.1%) discontinued because of an adverse event (excluding disease progression). Rucaparib was tolerable and had activity in patients with platinum-sensitive germline -mutated HGOC. .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-16-2796DOI Listing
August 2017

Quality of life during olaparib maintenance therapy in platinum-sensitive relapsed serous ovarian cancer.

Br J Cancer 2016 Nov 8;115(11):1313-1320. Epub 2016 Nov 8.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, USA.

Background: Maintenance monotherapy with the poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitor olaparib significantly prolongs progression-free survival over placebo in patients with platinum-sensitive relapsed serous ovarian cancer, with greatest benefit seen in patients with a BRCA1/2 mutation (BRCAm). Preservation of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is important during maintenance therapy; we evaluated the effect of olaparib on HRQoL in this Phase II trial (NCT00753545, Study 19).

Methods: Patients received olaparib 400 mg b.i.d. (capsules) or placebo until progression. Patient-reported HRQoL and disease-related symptoms were evaluated using the FACT-Ovarian (FACT-O) questionnaire (completed at baseline and every 28 days until progression), the FACT/NCCN Ovarian Symptom Index (FOSI) and the Trial Outcome Index (TOI). TOI of the FACT-O was the primary measure.

Results: Overall, 265 women were randomised to maintenance olaparib (n=136) or placebo (n=129). Compliance for HRQoL assessment was high (∼80% over time). Most patients in both arms reported a best response of 'no change' on TOI (81%) and other HRQoL measures. There were no statistically significant differences in time to worsening or improvement rates of TOI, FOSI and FACT-O scores in the overall, BRCAm and germline BRCAm populations.

Conclusions: Maintenance treatment with olaparib was well tolerated and had no adverse impact on HRQoL in this study of patients with platinum-sensitive relapsed serous ovarian cancer who had responded to their most recent platinum-based therapy (partial or complete response). Interpretation of the HRQoL results in this population may differ from patients who have not responded to their most recent platinum-based therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/bjc.2016.348DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5129820PMC
November 2016

Overall survival in patients with platinum-sensitive recurrent serous ovarian cancer receiving olaparib maintenance monotherapy: an updated analysis from a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, phase 2 trial.

Lancet Oncol 2016 Nov 9;17(11):1579-1589. Epub 2016 Sep 9.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, USA.

Background: In patients with platinum-sensitive recurrent serous ovarian cancer, maintenance monotherapy with the PARP inhibitor olaparib significantly improves progression-free survival versus placebo. We assessed the effect of maintenance olaparib on overall survival in patients with platinum-sensitive recurrent serous ovarian cancer, including those with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations (BRCAm).

Methods: In this randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, phase 2 trial involving 82 sites across 16 countries, patients with platinum-sensitive recurrent serous ovarian cancer who had received two or more courses of platinum-based chemotherapy and had responded to their latest regimen were randomly assigned (1:1) using a computer-generated sequence to receive oral maintenance olaparib (as capsules; 400 mg twice a day) or a matching placebo by an interactive voice response system. Patients were stratified by ancestry, time to progression on penultimate platinum, and response to most recent platinum. Patients and investigators were masked to treatment assignment by the use of unique identifiers generated during randomisation. The primary endpoint of the trial was progression-free survival. In this updated analysis, we present data for overall survival, a secondary endpoint, from the third data analysis after more than 5 years' follow-up (intention-to-treat population). We did the updated overall survival analysis, described in this Article at 77% data maturity, using a two-sided α of 0·95%. As the study was not powered to assess overall survival, this analysis should be regarded as descriptive and the p values are nominal. We analysed randomly assigned patients for overall survival and all patients who received at least one dose of treatment for safety. This trial is ongoing and is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00753545.

Findings: Between Aug 28, 2008, and Feb 9, 2010, 265 patients were randomly assigned to olaparib (n=136) or placebo (n=129). 136 patients had deleterious BRCAm. The data cutoff for this analysis was Sept 30, 2015. An overall survival advantage was seen with maintenance olaparib versus placebo in all patients (hazard ratio [HR] 0·73 [95% CI 0·55-0·96]; nominal p=0·025, which did not meet the required threshold for statistical significance [p<0·0095]; median overall survival was 29·8 months [95% CI 26·9-35·7] for those treated with olaparib vs 27·8 months [24·9-33·7] for those treated with placebo), and in patients with BRCAm (HR 0·62 [95% CI 0·41-0·94] nominal p=0·025; 34·9 months [95% CI 29·2-54·6] vs 30·2 months [23·1-40·7]). The overall survival data in patients with BRCA wild-type were HR 0·83 (95% CI 0·55-1·24, nominal p=0·37; 24·5 months [19·8-35·0] for those treated with olaparib vs 26·6 months [23·1-32·5] for those treated with placebo). 11 (15%) of 74 patients with BRCAm received maintenance olaparib for 5 years or more. Overall, common grade 3 or worse adverse events in the olaparib and placebo groups were fatigue (11 [8%] of 136 patients vs four [3%] of 128) and anaemia (eight [6%] vs one [1%]). 30 (22%) of 136 patients in the olaparib group and 11 (9%) of 128 patients in the placebo group reported serious adverse events. In patients treated for 2 years or more, adverse events in the olaparib and placebo groups included low-grade nausea (24 [75%] of 32 patients vs two [40%] of five), fatigue (18 [56%] of 32 vs two [40%] of five), vomiting (12 [38%] of 32 vs zero), and anaemia (eight [25%] of 32 vs one [20%] of five); generally, events were initially reported during the first 2 years of treatment.

Interpretation: Despite not reaching statistical significance, patients with BRCA-mutated platinum-sensitive recurrent serous ovarian cancer receiving olaparib maintenance monotherapy after platinum-based chemotherapy appeared to have longer overall survival, supporting the reported progression-free survival benefit. Clinically useful long-term exposure to olaparib was seen with no new safety signals. Taken together, these data support both the long-term clinical benefit and tolerability of maintenance olaparib in patients with BRCA-mutated platinum-sensitive recurrent serous ovarian cancer.

Funding: AstraZeneca.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(16)30376-XDOI Listing
November 2016

Olaparib maintenance therapy in patients with platinum-sensitive, relapsed serous ovarian cancer and a BRCA mutation: Overall survival adjusted for postprogression poly(adenosine diphosphate ribose) polymerase inhibitor therapy.

Cancer 2016 Jun 8;122(12):1844-52. Epub 2016 Apr 8.

University College London, London, United Kingdom.

Background: Maintenance treatment with the oral poly(adenosine diphosphate ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor olaparib (Lynparza) in Study 19 (study number, D0810C00019; ClinicalTrials.gov identifier, NCT00753545) significantly improved progression-free survival in comparison with a placebo for patients with platinum-sensitive, relapsed serous ovarian cancer with a BRCA1/2 mutation (BRCAm), but an interim analysis revealed no statistically significant overall survival (OS) benefit. However, 23% of the patients receiving the placebo switched to a PARP inhibitor after progression. To investigate whether this had a confounding effect on OS, this article reports an exploratory post hoc analysis that excluded all patients from sites where 1 or more placebo patients received postprogression PARP inhibitor treatment.

Methods: In Study 19, 136 of the 265 patients receiving olaparib or a placebo had a BRCAm. Sixteen patients treated at 11 of the 82 investigational sites received a PARP inhibitor after progression; these sites were excluded from this analysis, and 97 BRCAm patients at 50 sites were included. OS was assessed with a Cox proportional hazards model analogous to the primary study analysis. A supporting rank-preserving structural failure time (RPSFT) model analysis was undertaken for all 136 BRCAm patients.

Results: The OS hazard ratio (HR) was 0.52 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.28-0.97) for the 97 BRCAm patients, whereas for the interim OS analysis with all 136 BRCAm patients, it was 0.73 (95% CI, 0.45-1.17). The supportive RPSFT analysis HR was approximately 0.66.

Conclusions: The numerical improvement in the OS HR suggests that in Study 19, postprogression PARP inhibitor treatment had a confounding influence on the interim OS analysis for BRCAm patients. There is a degree of uncertainty due to the small sample size and the lack of data maturity. Cancer 2016;122:1844-52. © 2016 American Cancer Society.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cncr.29995DOI Listing
June 2016

Efficacy and safety of olaparib monotherapy in germline BRCA1/2 mutation carriers with advanced ovarian cancer and three or more lines of prior therapy.

Gynecol Oncol 2016 Feb 23;140(2):199-203. Epub 2015 Dec 23.

Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel.

Objective: The efficacy and safety of olaparib, an oral poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor, was investigated in a subgroup of patients with germline BRCA1/2 mutated (gBRCA1/2m) advanced ovarian cancer who had received ≥3 prior lines of chemotherapy. Primary data from this Phase II study (Study 42, ClinicalTrials.govNCT01078662) have been reported previously.

Methods: Eligible patients were treated with oral olaparib 400mg bid capsule monotherapy until disease progression according to RECIST v1.1. Objective response rate (ORR) and duration of response (DoR) were assessed for patients with measurable disease at baseline. Safety and tolerability were assessed for all patients by adverse event (AE) incidence and changes in laboratory parameters. Platinum resistance status was obtained retrospectively, and responses to olaparib evaluated.

Results: In patients with gBRCA1/2m ovarian cancer, 154/193 (80%) had received ≥3 prior lines of chemotherapy, of whom 137/154 (89%) had measurable disease at baseline. ORR was 34% (46/137; 95% confidence interval [CI] 26-42) and median DoR was 7.9 (95% CI 5.6-9.6) months. ORR in platinum-resistant tumors was 30%. Median DoR for platinum-sensitive and platinum-resistant disease was similar: 8.2months (95% CI 5.6-13.5) compared with 8.0months (4.8-14.8), respectively. Six of the 193 (3%) patients had an AE with an outcome of death. None of these AEs at time of occurrence was considered causally related to olaparib.

Conclusion: Following ≥3 prior lines of chemotherapy, olaparib 400mg bid (capsule form) monotherapy demonstrated notable antitumor activity in patients with gBRCA1/2m advanced ovarian cancer. No new safety signals were identified.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygyno.2015.12.020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4992984PMC
February 2016

Tumor-Infiltrating Lymphocytes: Clinical Experience.

Cancer J 2015 Nov-Dec;21(6):465-9

From the *Ella Lemelbaum Institute for Melanoma, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer; and †Department of Clinical Microbiology and Immunology, Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel.

Adoptive cell therapy (ACT) with tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in combination with lymphodepletion and high-dose interleukin 2 has shown reproducible objective response rates of approximately 50% in patients with highly advanced, refractory metastatic melanoma. As confirmed by different clinical centers, TIL ACT can yield durable responses especially in patients with complete regression, who are mostly disease-free many years after treatment, suggesting the possibility of cure. Most TIL ACT trials have been conducted as salvage therapy for patients with multiple metastases, frequently in visceral organs and even brain, and who failed numerous treatments, including checkpoint inhibitors, which underlines the value of the treatment. Recent developments in the identification and selection of tumor-specific T-cell populations have facilitated the implementation of TIL ACT also in nonmelanoma malignancies. We summarize the clinical experience of TIL ACT in melanoma, briefly discuss new directions for further improvement of this promising therapy, and present the latest clinical results in nonmelanoma cancers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/PPO.0000000000000154DOI Listing
September 2016