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Tumor infiltrating lymphocytes in lymph node metastases of stage III melanoma correspond to response and survival in nine patients treated with ipilimumab at the time of stage IV disease


Diem, Stefan; Hasan Ali, Omar; Ackermann, Christoph J; Bomze, David; Koelzer, Viktor H; Jochum, Wolfram; Speiser, Daniel E; Mertz, Kirsten D; Flatz, Lukas (2018). Tumor infiltrating lymphocytes in lymph node metastases of stage III melanoma correspond to response and survival in nine patients treated with ipilimumab at the time of stage IV disease. Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy, 67(1):39-45.

Abstract

Prognosis of metastatic melanoma improved with the development of checkpoint inhibitors. The role of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in lymph node metastases of stage III melanoma remains unclear. We retrospectively characterized TILs in primary melanomas and matched lymph node metastases (stage III melanoma) of patients treated with the checkpoint inhibitor ipilimumab. Tumor infiltrating lymphocytes were characterized for CD3, CD4, and CD8 expressions by immunohistochemistry. 4/9 patients (44%) responded to treatment with ipilimumab (1 complete and 2 partial remissions, 1 stable disease). All responders exhibited CD4 and CD8 T-cell infiltration in their lymph node metastases, whereas all non-responders did not show an infiltration of the lymph node metastasis with TILs. The correlation between the presence and absence of TILs in responders vs. non-responders was statistically significant (p = 0.008). Median distant metastases free survival, i.e., progression from stage III to stage IV melanoma, was similar in responders and non-responders (22.1 vs. 19.3 months; p = 0.462). Median progression free and overall survival show a trend in favor of the patients having TIL rich lymph node metastases (6.8 vs. 3.3 months, p = 0.09; and all alive at last follow-up vs. 8.2 months, respectively, p = 0.08). Our data suggest a correlation between the T-cell infiltration of the lymph node metastases in stage III melanoma and the response to ipilimumab once these patients progress to stage IV disease.

Abstract

Prognosis of metastatic melanoma improved with the development of checkpoint inhibitors. The role of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in lymph node metastases of stage III melanoma remains unclear. We retrospectively characterized TILs in primary melanomas and matched lymph node metastases (stage III melanoma) of patients treated with the checkpoint inhibitor ipilimumab. Tumor infiltrating lymphocytes were characterized for CD3, CD4, and CD8 expressions by immunohistochemistry. 4/9 patients (44%) responded to treatment with ipilimumab (1 complete and 2 partial remissions, 1 stable disease). All responders exhibited CD4 and CD8 T-cell infiltration in their lymph node metastases, whereas all non-responders did not show an infiltration of the lymph node metastasis with TILs. The correlation between the presence and absence of TILs in responders vs. non-responders was statistically significant (p = 0.008). Median distant metastases free survival, i.e., progression from stage III to stage IV melanoma, was similar in responders and non-responders (22.1 vs. 19.3 months; p = 0.462). Median progression free and overall survival show a trend in favor of the patients having TIL rich lymph node metastases (6.8 vs. 3.3 months, p = 0.09; and all alive at last follow-up vs. 8.2 months, respectively, p = 0.08). Our data suggest a correlation between the T-cell infiltration of the lymph node metastases in stage III melanoma and the response to ipilimumab once these patients progress to stage IV disease.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Institute of Pathology and Molecular Pathology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Immunology and Allergy
Life Sciences > Immunology
Health Sciences > Oncology
Life Sciences > Cancer Research
Language:English
Date:2018
Deposited On:26 Sep 2019 13:41
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 11:21
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0340-7004
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00262-017-2061-4
PubMed ID:28894934

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