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      Baseline circulating IL-17 predicts toxicity while TGF-β1 and IL-10 are prognostic of relapse in ipilimumab neoadjuvant therapy of melanoma

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          Abstract

          Background

          We evaluated candidate circulating serum cytokines, chemokines and growth factors in patients with locally/regionally advanced melanoma receiving neoadjuvant ipilimumab with toxicity and clinical outcome.

          Methods

          Patients were treated with ipilimumab (10 mg/kg IV every 3 weeks, 2 doses) before and after surgery. xMAP multiplex serum testing for 36 functionally selected cytokines and chemokines was performed at baseline and at six weeks (following ipilimumab). Based on our prior data, the association of IL-17 and immune related colitis was tested. Serum cytokines were divided into functional groups (Th1, Th2, Regulatory, Proinflammatory) and were assessed at baseline and week 6 using sparse-group Lasso modeling to assess the association of various cytokine groups with progression free survival (PFS). The linear combination of the cytokines/chemokines in this model was then used as a risk score and a Kaplan-Meier curve was generated to examine the association of the dichotomized score and PFS.

          Results

          Thirty-five patients were enrolled whose staging was: IIIB (3; N2b), IIIC (30; N2c, N3), IV (2). Median follow-up was 18 months. Among 33 evaluable patients, median PFS was 11 months (95 % CI = 6.2–19.2). IL-17 was found to correlate significantly with the incidence of grade 3 diarrhea/colitis when measured at baseline ( p = 0.02) with a trend towards significance at 6 weeks ( p = 0.06). In the modeling analysis, at baseline, the linear combination of 2 regulatory cytokines [TGF- β1 ( ρ = 0.19) and IL-10 ( ρ = -0.34)] was significantly associated with PFS (HR 2.66; p = 0.035). No significant correlations with clinical outcomes were found in examining the week 6 cytokines.

          Conclusions

          Baseline IL-17 level was significantly associated with the later development of severe diarrhea/colitis while the combination of baseline TGF- β1 and IL-10 levels were associated with therapeutic clinical outcome after neoadjuvant ipilimumab. These findings warrant further investigation and validation.

          Trial registration

          ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier NCT00972933.

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          Most cited references 32

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          Improved survival with ipilimumab in patients with metastatic melanoma.

          An improvement in overall survival among patients with metastatic melanoma has been an elusive goal. In this phase 3 study, ipilimumab--which blocks cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 to potentiate an antitumor T-cell response--administered with or without a glycoprotein 100 (gp100) peptide vaccine was compared with gp100 alone in patients with previously treated metastatic melanoma. A total of 676 HLA-A*0201-positive patients with unresectable stage III or IV melanoma, whose disease had progressed while they were receiving therapy for metastatic disease, were randomly assigned, in a 3:1:1 ratio, to receive ipilimumab plus gp100 (403 patients), ipilimumab alone (137), or gp100 alone (136). Ipilimumab, at a dose of 3 mg per kilogram of body weight, was administered with or without gp100 every 3 weeks for up to four treatments (induction). Eligible patients could receive reinduction therapy. The primary end point was overall survival. The median overall survival was 10.0 months among patients receiving ipilimumab plus gp100, as compared with 6.4 months among patients receiving gp100 alone (hazard ratio for death, 0.68; P<0.001). The median overall survival with ipilimumab alone was 10.1 months (hazard ratio for death in the comparison with gp100 alone, 0.66; P=0.003). No difference in overall survival was detected between the ipilimumab groups (hazard ratio with ipilimumab plus gp100, 1.04; P=0.76). Grade 3 or 4 immune-related adverse events occurred in 10 to 15% of patients treated with ipilimumab and in 3% treated with gp100 alone. There were 14 deaths related to the study drugs (2.1%), and 7 were associated with immune-related adverse events. Ipilimumab, with or without a gp100 peptide vaccine, as compared with gp100 alone, improved overall survival in patients with previously treated metastatic melanoma. Adverse events can be severe, long-lasting, or both, but most are reversible with appropriate treatment. (Funded by Medarex and Bristol-Myers Squibb; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00094653.)
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            PD-1 blockade induces responses by inhibiting adaptive immune resistance

            Therapies that target the programmed death-1 (PD-1) receptor have shown unprecedented rates of durable clinical responses in patients with various cancer types. 1–5 One mechanism by which cancer tissues limit the host immune response is via upregulation of PD-1 ligand (PD-L1) and its ligation to PD-1 on antigen-specific CD8 T-cells (termed adaptive immune resistance). 6,7 Here we show that pre-existing CD8 T-cells distinctly located at the invasive tumour margin are associated with expression of the PD-1/PD-L1 immune inhibitory axis and may predict response to therapy. We analyzed samples from 46 patients with metastatic melanoma obtained before and during anti-PD1 therapy (pembrolizumab) using quantitative immunohistochemistry, quantitative multiplex immunofluorescence, and next generation sequencing for T-cell receptors (TCR). In serially sampled tumours, responding patients showed proliferation of intratumoural CD8+ T-cells that directly correlated with radiographic reduction in tumour size. Pre-treatment samples obtained from responding patients showed higher numbers of CD8, PD1, and PD-L1 expressing cells at the invasive tumour margin and inside tumours, with close proximity between PD-1 and PD-L1, and a more clonal TCR repertoire. Using multivariate analysis, we established a predictive model based on CD8 expression at the invasive margin and validated the model in an independent cohort of 15 patients. Our findings indicate that tumour regression following therapeutic PD-1 blockade requires pre-existing CD8+ T cells that are negatively regulated by PD-1/PD-L1 mediated adaptive immune resistance.
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              Genetic basis for clinical response to CTLA-4 blockade in melanoma.

              Immune checkpoint inhibitors are effective cancer treatments, but molecular determinants of clinical benefit are unknown. Ipilimumab and tremelimumab are antibodies against cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA-4). Anti-CTLA-4 treatment prolongs overall survival in patients with melanoma. CTLA-4 blockade activates T cells and enables them to destroy tumor cells. We obtained tumor tissue from patients with melanoma who were treated with ipilimumab or tremelimumab. Whole-exome sequencing was performed on tumors and matched blood samples. Somatic mutations and candidate neoantigens generated from these mutations were characterized. Neoantigen peptides were tested for the ability to activate lymphocytes from ipilimumab-treated patients. Malignant melanoma exomes from 64 patients treated with CTLA-4 blockade were characterized with the use of massively parallel sequencing. A discovery set consisted of 11 patients who derived a long-term clinical benefit and 14 patients who derived a minimal benefit or no benefit. Mutational load was associated with the degree of clinical benefit (P=0.01) but alone was not sufficient to predict benefit. Using genomewide somatic neoepitope analysis and patient-specific HLA typing, we identified candidate tumor neoantigens for each patient. We elucidated a neoantigen landscape that is specifically present in tumors with a strong response to CTLA-4 blockade. We validated this signature in a second set of 39 patients with melanoma who were treated with anti-CTLA-4 antibodies. Predicted neoantigens activated T cells from the patients treated with ipilimumab. These findings define a genetic basis for benefit from CTLA-4 blockade in melanoma and provide a rationale for examining exomes of patients for whom anti-CTLA-4 agents are being considered. (Funded by the Frederick Adler Fund and others.).
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                412-648-6578 , tarhiniaa@upmc.edu
                zahoorh@upmc.edu
                yal14@pitt.edu
                Usha.Malhotra@RosswellPark.org
                sandca@upmc.edu
                butterfieldl@upmc.edu
                kirkwoodJM@upmc.edu
                Journal
                J Immunother Cancer
                J Immunother Cancer
                Journal for Immunotherapy of Cancer
                BioMed Central (London )
                2051-1426
                15 September 2015
                15 September 2015
                2015
                : 3
                Affiliations
                University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, UPMC Cancer Pavilion, 5150 Centre Avenue (555), Pittsburgh, PA 15232 USA
                Article
                81
                10.1186/s40425-015-0081-1
                4570556
                © Tarhini et al. 2015

                Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                Categories
                Research Article
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2015

                cytokines, melanoma, neoadjuvant, ctla4, ipilimumab

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