Clin Cancer Res 2018 09 30;24(18):4416-4428. Epub 2018 May 30.
Department of Melanoma Medical Oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDACC), Houston, Texas.
Adoptive cell therapy (ACT) using tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) has consistently demonstrated clinical efficacy in metastatic melanoma. Recent widespread use of checkpoint blockade has shifted the treatment landscape, raising questions regarding impact of these therapies on response to TIL and appropriate immunotherapy sequence. Seventy-four metastatic melanoma patients were treated with autologous TIL and evaluated for clinical response according to irRC, overall survival, and progression-free survival. Immunologic factors associated with response were also evaluated. Best overall response for the entire cohort was 42%; 47% in 43 checkpoint-naïve patients, 38% when patients were exposed to anti-CTLA4 alone (21 patients) and 33% if also exposed to anti-PD1 (9 patients) prior to TIL ACT. Median overall survival was 17.3 months; 24.6 months in CTLA4-naïve patients and 8.6 months in patients with prior CTLA4 blockade. The latter patients were infused with fewer TIL and experienced a shorter duration of response. Infusion of higher numbers of TIL with CD8 predominance and expression of BTLA correlated with improved response in anti-CTLA4 naïve patients, but not in anti-CTLA4 refractory patients. Baseline serum levels of IL9 predicted response to TIL ACT, while TIL persistence, tumor recognition, and mutation burden did not correlate with outcome. This study demonstrates the deleterious effects of prior exposure to anti-CTLA4 on TIL ACT response and shows that baseline IL9 levels can potentially serve as a predictive tool to select the appropriate sequence of immunotherapies. .