Complete response of brainstem metastasis in BRAF-mutated melanoma without stereotactic radiosurgery after initiation of encorafenib and binimetinib
Metastatic melanoma is often accompanied by the development of brain metastases, at presentation or during the course of therapy. Local therapies such as surgery and radiation have been considered standard treatments for intracranial disease. However, the emergence of systemic therapies has been changing the treatment paradigm for the management of brain metastases. In patients with BRAF-mutated melanoma, combined BRAF and MEK inhibition has been found to elicit significant clinical responses. Patients who develop resistance to MAP kinase (MAPK) targeted therapy can achieve significant responses upon rechallenge. In this case, a 68-year-old woman with metastatic melanoma who had received multiple treatment courses including combination immunotherapy and combination MAPK-targeted therapy presented with a brainstem metastasis and demonstrated a complete response upon initiation of encorafenib and binimetinib, thereby obviating the need for stereotactic radiosurgery.
Chronic Immune-Related Adverse Events Following Adjuvant Anti-PD-1 Therapy for High-risk Resected Melanoma
Importance/UNASSIGNED:Agents targeting programmed cell death 1 (PD-1)/PD ligand 1 (PD-L1) improve long-term survival across many advanced cancers and are now used as adjuvant therapy for resected stage III and IV melanomas. The incidence and spectrum of chronic immune-related adverse events (irAEs) have not been well defined. Objective/UNASSIGNED:To determine the incidence, time course, spectrum, and associations of chronic irAEs arising from adjuvant anti-PD-1 therapy. Design, Setting, and Participants/UNASSIGNED:This retrospective multicenter cohort study was conducted between 2015 and 2020 across 8 academic medical centers in the United States and Australia. Patients with stage III to IV melanomas treated with anti-PD-1 in the adjuvant setting were included. Main Outcomes and Measures/UNASSIGNED:Incidence, types, and time course of chronic irAEs (defined as irAEs persisting at least 12 weeks after therapy cessation). Results/UNASSIGNED:Among 387 patients, the median (range) age was 63 (17-88) years, and 235 (60.7%) were male. Of these patients, 267 (69.0%) had any acute irAE, defined as those arising during treatment with anti-PD-1, including 52 (19.5%) with grades 3 through 5 events; 1 patient each had fatal myocarditis and neurotoxicity. Chronic irAEs, defined as those that persisted beyond 12 weeks of anti-PD-1 discontinuation, developed in 167 (43.2%) patients, of which most (nâ€‰=â€‰161; 96.4%) were mild (grade 1 or 2) and most persisted until last available follow-up (nâ€‰=â€‰143; 85.6%). Endocrinopathies (73 of 88; 83.0%), arthritis (22 of 45; 48.9%), xerostomia (9 of 17; 52.9%), neurotoxicities (11 of 15; 73.3%), and ocular events (5 of 8; 62.5%) were particularly likely to become chronic. In contrast, irAEs affecting visceral organs (liver, colon, lungs, kidneys) had much lower rates of becoming chronic irAEs; for example, colitis became chronic in 6 of 44 (13.6%) cases, of which 4 of 6 (66.7%) resolved with prolonged follow-up. Age, gender, time of onset, and need for steroids were not associated with the likelihood of chronicity of irAEs. Conclusion and Relevance/UNASSIGNED:In this multicenter cohort study, chronic irAEs associated with anti-PD-1 therapy appear to be more common than previously recognized and frequently persisted even with prolonged follow-up, although most were low grade. The risks of chronic irAEs should be integrated into treatment decision-making.
Montelukast in hospitalized patients diagnosed with COVID-19
OBJECTIVE/UNASSIGNED:Several therapeutic agents have been assessed for the treatment of COVID-19, but few approaches have been proven efficacious. Because leukotriene receptor antagonists, such as montelukast have been shown to reduce both cytokine release and lung inflammation in preclinical models of viral influenza and acute respiratory distress syndrome, we hypothesized that therapy with montelukast could be used to treat COVID-19. The objective of this study was to determine if montelukast treatment would reduce the rate of clinical deterioration as measured by the COVID-19 Ordinal Scale. METHODS/UNASSIGNED:We performed a retrospective analysis of COVID-19 confirmed hospitalized patients treated with or without montelukast. We used "clinical deterioration" as the primary endpoint, a binary outcome defined as any increase in the Ordinal Scale value from Day 1 to Day 3 of the hospital stay, as these data were uniformly available for all admitted patients before hospital discharge. Rates of clinical deterioration between the montelukast and non-montelukast groups were compared using the Fisher's exact test. Univariate logistic regression was also used to assess the association between montelukast use and clinical deterioration. A total of 92 patients were analyzed, 30 who received montelukast at the discretion of the treating physician and 62 patients who did not receive montelukast. RESULTS/UNASSIGNED:â€‰=â€‰0.022). Our findings suggest that montelukast associates with a reduction in clinical deterioration for COVID-19 confirmed patients as measured on the COVID-19 Ordinal Scale. CONCLUSIONS/UNASSIGNED:Hospitalized COVID-19 patients treated with montelukast had fewer events of clinical deterioration, indicating that this treatment may have clinical activity. While this retrospective study highlights a potential pathway for COVID-19 treatment, this hypothesis requires further study by prospective studies.
A multicenter characterization of hepatitis associated with immune checkpoint inhibitors
Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) predispose patients to immune-related adverse events (irAEs). Although hepatitis is a potentially lethal toxicity, the timing and outcomes have not been well described. In this retrospective study, patients from six international institutions were included if they were treated with ICIs and developed immune-related hepatitis. Patient and tumor characteristics, and hepatitis management and outcomes were evaluated. Of the 164 patients included, most were male (53.7%) with a median age of 63.0Â years. Most patients had melanoma (83.5%) and stage IV disease (86.0%). Median follow-up was 585Â days; median OS and PFS were not reached. The initial grade of hepatitis was most often grade 2 (30.5%) or 3 (45.7%) with a median time to onset of 61Â days. Patients were most commonly asymptomatic (46.2%), but flu-like symptoms, including fatigue/anorexia (17.1%), nausea/emesis (14.0%), abdominal/back pain (11.6%), and arthralgias/myalgias (8.5%) occurred. Most patients received glucocorticoids (92.1%); the median time to improvement by one grade was 13.0Â days, and the median time to complete resolution was 52.0Â days. Second-line immunosuppression was required in 37 patients (22.6%), and steroid-dose re-escalation in 45 patients (27.4%). Five patients (3%) died of ICI-hepatitis or complications of hepatitis treatment. Ninety-one patients (58.6%) did not resume ICI; of 66 patients (40 grade 1/2, 26 grade 3/4) that were rechallenged, only 25.8% (nÂ =Â 17) had recurrence. In this multi-institutional cohort, immune-related hepatitis was associated with excellent outcomes but frequently required therapy discontinuation, high-dose steroids, and second-line immunosuppression. Rechallenge was associated with a modest rate of hepatitis recurrence.
A multicenter characterization of chronic toxicities following adjuvant anti-PD-1 therapy for high risk resected melanoma [Meeting Abstract]
Background Anti-programmed death-1 (anti-PD-1) therapies have improved long-term survival across many advanced cancers. However, chronic immune-related adverse events (irAEs) are not well-defined. We sought to determine the incidence, time-course, spectrum, and predictors of chronic irAEs arising from adjuvant anti-PD-1. Methods In this retrospective cohort, we analyzed patients from 8 academic medical centers with stage III-IV melanoma treated with anti-PD-1 in the adjuvant setting. Acute and chronic (persisting at least 3 months after therapy cessation) irAEs were characterized by type, time-course, management, and incidence. Results Among 387 patients, most were male (60.7%) with a median age of 63 years, had cutaneous primaries (85.8%), BRAF/NRAS WT (51.2%), and resected stage IIIb (33.1%) or IIIc (39.5%) melanomas. Median overall survival and relapsefree survival (RFS) were not reached. 359 patients (93.0%) were alive at median follow-up of 529 days. Patients with acute (p<0.009) or chronic (p<0.001) irAEs had superior RFS compared with patients lacking irAEs. Treatment was discontinued for therapy completion (50.0%), irAEs (25.3%), and disease progression (20.9%). 267 patients (69.0%) had any acute irAE, including 19.5% (n=52) with grade 3-5 events. Acute irAEs were most commonly dermatitis/pruritis (25.8%), thyroiditis/hypothyroid (16.3%), arthralgias (10.6%), colitis/ diarrhea (9.8%) and required glucocorticoids in 109 patients (28.2%). Of these, 167 patients (43.2%) developed chronic irAEs; 82 (49.1%) were symptomatic, 55 (32.9%) required glucocorticoids, and most were grade 1-2 (96.4%). Endocrinopathies (73/88, 83.0%) arthritis (22/45, 48.9%), xerostomia (9/17, 52.9%), neurotoxicities (8/8, 100.0%), and ocular events (5/8, 63.0%) were likely to become chronic events. In contrast, colitis (6/44, 13.6%), hepatitis (4/25, 16.0%), pneumonitis (6/18, 33.3%) were less likely to become chronic. Overall, the most common chronic irAEs were hypothyroidism (14.0%), dermatitis/pruritis (6.6%) arthralgias (5.7%), adrenal insufficiency (3.1%), and xerostomia (2.3%). Age (p=0.67), gender (p=0.31), time of onset of acute irAEs (p=0.95), and initial need for glucocorticoids (p=0.15) were not associated with chronicity. Only 24 (14.4%) of chronic irAEs ultimately resolved during the median 529-day follow-up. In particular, endocrinopathies (100%) arthralgias (100%) ocular events (100%), xerostomia (88.9%), and cutaneous events (89.5%) had high rates of persistence at last follow-up. Conclusions Chronic irAEs to anti-PD-1 were more common than previously recognized and frequently persisted even with prolonged follow-up, although most were low-grade. The risks of chronic toxic effects should be integrated into treatment decision making
Effect of cyclo-oxygenase inhibitor use during checkpoint blockade immunotherapy in patients with metastatic melanoma and non-small cell lung cancer
BACKGROUND:Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) improve survival outcomes in metastatic melanoma and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Preclinical evidence suggests that overexpression of cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX2) in tumors facilitates immune evasion through prostaglandin E2 production and that COX inhibition synergizes with ICIs to promote antitumor T-cell activation. This study investigates whether concurrent COX inhibitor (COXi) use during ICI treatment compared with ICI alone is associated with improved time-to-progression (TTP), objective response rate (ORR) and overall survival (OS) in patients with metastatic melanoma and NSCLC. METHODS:We retrospectively reviewed 90 metastatic melanoma and 37 metastatic NSCLC patients, treated with ICI between 2011 and 2019. Differences in TTP and OS by ICI+COXi versus ICI alone were compared using Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression. Interaction between ICI+COXi versus ICI alone and pretreatment neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) was examined. Independent radiology review per Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) version 1.1 was performed. RESULTS:For patients with melanoma, median TTP was significantly prolonged in ICI+COXi versus ICI alone (245 vs 100.5 days, p=0.002). On multivariate analysis, ICI+COXi associated with increased TTP (HR 0.36, 95% CI 0.2 to 0.66, p=0.001), adjusted for age, pretreatment NLR, and gender. For NSCLC patients, ICI+COXi also associated with increased TTP compared with ICI alone on multivariate analysis (HR 0.45; 95% CI 0.21 to 0.97; p=0.042) adjusted for age. ORR at 6 months was significantly higher in patients who received ICI+COXi compared with ICI alone in both melanoma (58.6% vs 19.2%, p=0.0005) and NSCLC (73.7% vs 33.3%, p=0.036) cohorts. In the melanoma cohort, high pretreatment NLR (>5) associated with decreased TTP (HR 3.21, 95% CI 1.64 to 6.3; p=0.0007); however, ICI+COXi significantly associated with increased TTP in high NLR (>5) patients (HR 0.08, 95% CI 0.03 to 0.25), but not in low NLR (â‰¤5) patients (HR 0.65, 95% CI 0.32 to 1.32). Similar outcomes were found in an adjusted melanoma cohort after RECIST review. CONCLUSIONS:Our study suggests that COXi use concurrently with ICI significantly associated with longer TTP and improved ORR at 6 months in patients with metastatic melanoma and NSCLC compared with ICI alone. Furthermore, COXi use appears to reverse the negative prognostic effect of a high NLR by prolonging TTP in patients with melanoma.
Continuous versus intermittent BRAF and MEK inhibition in patients with BRAF-mutated melanoma: a randomized phase 2 trial
Preclinical modeling suggests that intermittent BRAF inhibitor therapy may delay acquired resistance when blocking oncogenic BRAFV600 in melanoma1,2. We conducted S1320, a randomized, open-label, phase 2 clinical trial (NCT02196181) evaluating whether intermittent dosing of the BRAF inhibitor dabrafenib and the MEK inhibitor trametinib improves progression-free survival in patients with metastatic and unresectable BRAFV600 melanoma. Patients were enrolled at 68 academic and community sites nationally. All patients received continuous dabrafenib and trametinib during an 8-week lead-in period, after which patients with non-progressing tumors were randomized to either continuous or intermittent dosing of both drugs on a 3-week-off, 5-week-on schedule. The trial has completed accrual and 206 patients with similar baseline characteristics were randomized 1:1 to the two study arms (105 to continuous dosing, 101 to intermittent dosing). Continuous dosing yielded a statistically significant improvement in post-randomization progression-free survival compared with intermittent dosing (median 9.0 months versus 5.5 months, Pâ€‰=â€‰0.064, pre-specified two-sided Î±â€‰=â€‰0.2). Therefore, contrary to the initial hypothesis, intermittent dosing did not improve progression-free survival in patients. There were no differences in the secondary outcomes, including overall survival and the overall incidence of treatment-associated toxicity, between the two groups.
Prognostic Gene Expression Profiling in Cutaneous Melanoma: Identifying the Knowledge Gaps and Assessing the Clinical Benefit
Importance/UNASSIGNED:Use of prognostic gene expression profile (GEP) testing in cutaneous melanoma (CM) is rising despite a lack of endorsement as standard of care. Objective/UNASSIGNED:To develop guidelines within the national Melanoma Prevention Working Group (MPWG) on integration of GEP testing into the management of patients with CM, including (1) review of published data using GEP tests, (2) definition of acceptable performance criteria, (3) current recommendations for use of GEP testing in clinical practice, and (4) considerations for future studies. Evidence Review/UNASSIGNED:The MPWG members and other international melanoma specialists participated in 2 online surveys and then convened a summit meeting. Published data and meeting abstracts from 2015 to 2019 were reviewed. Findings/UNASSIGNED:The MPWG members are optimistic about the future use of prognostic GEP testing to improve risk stratification and enhance clinical decision-making but acknowledge that current utility is limited by test performance in patients with stage I disease. Published studies of GEP testing have not evaluated results in the context of all relevant clinicopathologic factors or as predictors of regional nodal metastasis to replace sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB). The performance of GEP tests has generally been reported for small groups of patients representing particular tumor stages or in aggregate form, such that stage-specific performance cannot be ascertained, and without survival outcomes compared with data from the American Joint Committee on Cancer 8th edition melanoma staging system international database. There are significant challenges to performing clinical trials incorporating GEP testing with SLNB and adjuvant therapy. The MPWG members favor conducting retrospective studies that evaluate multiple GEP testing platforms on fully annotated archived samples before embarking on costly prospective studies and recommend avoiding routine use of GEP testing to direct patient management until prospective studies support their clinical utility. Conclusions and Relevance/UNASSIGNED:More evidence is needed to support using GEP testing to inform recommendations regarding SLNB, intensity of follow-up or imaging surveillance, and postoperative adjuvant therapy. The MPWG recommends further research to assess the validity and clinical applicability of existing and emerging GEP tests. Decisions on performing GEP testing and patient management based on these results should only be made in the context of discussion of testing limitations with the patient or within a multidisciplinary group.
Pembrolizumab for the treatment of programmed death-ligand 1-positive advanced carcinoid or pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors: Results from the KEYNOTE-028 study
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 10Â mg/kg every 2Â weeks for up to 2Â 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 20Â months (range, 2-35Â months) and 21Â months (range, 5-32Â 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 9.2Â months (range, 6.9-11.1Â 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.
Phase I neoadjuvant study of intravesical recombinant fowlpox-GM-CSF (rF-GM-CSF) or fowlpox-TRICOM (rF-TRICOM) in patients with bladder carcinoma
Intravesical BCG is a highly effective treatment for high-grade nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer and carcinoma in situ (CIS); however, for patients who are either resistant or become unresponsive to BCG therapy there is a need for alternative treatment approaches. This study examined the safety and feasibility of intravesically administered recombinant fowlpox virus encoding GM-CSF (Arm A) or TRICOM (Arm B); and the local and systemic immunologic responses generated to the vector(s). Twenty bladder cancer patients scheduled for cystectomy as their standard of care received preoperatively four weekly doses of intravesical recombinant fowlpox. Treatment was well tolerated, however, three patients experienced transient elevations of liver transaminases, with one rising to the level of a DLT. Cystectomy derived tumor and normal bladder mucosa demonstrated mRNA for the virally encoded LacZ gene supporting effective infection/transfection. Detected serum antibody to the LacZ encoding Î²-galactosidase indicated successful expression of vector-encoding gene products and the ability to immunize via the bladder site. H&E and IHC using a panel of immune cell specific antigens demonstrated immune cell infiltration of the bladder wall. These findings demonstrate good safety profile, successful infection/transfection, ability to generate systemic immune response, and local recruitment of immune cell populations with intravesical administration of fowlpox-based constructs encoding for GM-CSF(rF-GM-CSF) or TRICOM (rF-TRICOM), and support further evaluation of this treatment modality for bladder cancer.