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Efficacy of anti-PD-1 and ipilimumab alone or in combination in acral melanoma


Abstract

BackgroundAcral melanoma is a rare melanoma subtype with poor prognosis. Importantly, these patients were not identified as a specific subgroup in the landmark melanoma trials involving ipilimumab and the anti-programmed cell death protein-1 (PD-1) agents nivolumab and pembrolizumab. There is therefore an absence of prospective clinical trial evidence regarding the efficacy of checkpoint inhibitors (CPIs) in this population. Acral melanoma has lower tumor mutation burden (TMB) than other cutaneous sites, and primary site is associated with differences in TMB. However the impact of this on the effectiveness of immune CPIs is unknown. We examined the efficacy of CPIs in acral melanoma, including by primary site.MethodsPatients with unresectable stage III/IV acral melanoma treated with CPI (anti-PD-1 and/or ipilimumab) were studied. Multivariable logistic and Cox regression analyses were conducted. Primary outcome was objective response rate (ORR); secondary outcomes were progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS).ResultsIn total, 325 patients were included: 234 (72%) plantar, 69 (21%) subungual and 22 (7%) palmar primary sites. First CPI included: 184 (57%) anti-PD-1, 59 (18%) anti-PD-1/ipilimumab combination and 82 (25%) ipilimumab. ORR was significantly higher with initial anti-PD-1/ipilimumab compared with anti-PD-1 (43% vs 26%, HR 2.14, p=0.0004) and significantly lower with ipilimumab (15% vs 26%, HR 0.49, p=0.0016). Landmark PFS at 1 year was highest for anti-PD-1/ipilimumab at 34% (95% CI 24% to 49%), compared with 26% (95% CI 20% to 33%) with anti-PD-1 and 10% (95% CI 5% to 19%) with ipilimumab. Despite a trend for increased PFS, anti-PD-1/ipilimumab combination did not significantly improve PFS (HR 0.85, p=0.35) or OS over anti-PD-1 (HR 1.30, p=0.16), potentially due to subsequent therapies and high rates of acquired resistance. No outcome differences were found between primary sites.ConclusionWhile the ORR to anti-PD-1/ipilimumab was significantly higher than anti-PD-1 and PFS numerically higher, in this retrospective cohort this benefit did not translate to improved OS. Future trials should specifically include patients with acral melanoma, to help determine the optimal management of this important melanoma subtype.

Abstract

BackgroundAcral melanoma is a rare melanoma subtype with poor prognosis. Importantly, these patients were not identified as a specific subgroup in the landmark melanoma trials involving ipilimumab and the anti-programmed cell death protein-1 (PD-1) agents nivolumab and pembrolizumab. There is therefore an absence of prospective clinical trial evidence regarding the efficacy of checkpoint inhibitors (CPIs) in this population. Acral melanoma has lower tumor mutation burden (TMB) than other cutaneous sites, and primary site is associated with differences in TMB. However the impact of this on the effectiveness of immune CPIs is unknown. We examined the efficacy of CPIs in acral melanoma, including by primary site.MethodsPatients with unresectable stage III/IV acral melanoma treated with CPI (anti-PD-1 and/or ipilimumab) were studied. Multivariable logistic and Cox regression analyses were conducted. Primary outcome was objective response rate (ORR); secondary outcomes were progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS).ResultsIn total, 325 patients were included: 234 (72%) plantar, 69 (21%) subungual and 22 (7%) palmar primary sites. First CPI included: 184 (57%) anti-PD-1, 59 (18%) anti-PD-1/ipilimumab combination and 82 (25%) ipilimumab. ORR was significantly higher with initial anti-PD-1/ipilimumab compared with anti-PD-1 (43% vs 26%, HR 2.14, p=0.0004) and significantly lower with ipilimumab (15% vs 26%, HR 0.49, p=0.0016). Landmark PFS at 1 year was highest for anti-PD-1/ipilimumab at 34% (95% CI 24% to 49%), compared with 26% (95% CI 20% to 33%) with anti-PD-1 and 10% (95% CI 5% to 19%) with ipilimumab. Despite a trend for increased PFS, anti-PD-1/ipilimumab combination did not significantly improve PFS (HR 0.85, p=0.35) or OS over anti-PD-1 (HR 1.30, p=0.16), potentially due to subsequent therapies and high rates of acquired resistance. No outcome differences were found between primary sites.ConclusionWhile the ORR to anti-PD-1/ipilimumab was significantly higher than anti-PD-1 and PFS numerically higher, in this retrospective cohort this benefit did not translate to improved OS. Future trials should specifically include patients with acral melanoma, to help determine the optimal management of this important melanoma subtype.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Dermatology Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Immunology and Allergy
Life Sciences > Immunology
Life Sciences > Molecular Medicine
Health Sciences > Oncology
Life Sciences > Pharmacology
Life Sciences > Cancer Research
Uncontrolled Keywords:Cancer Research, Pharmacology, Oncology, Molecular Medicine, Immunology, Immunology and Allergy
Language:English
Date:1 July 2022
Deposited On:09 Aug 2022 12:45
Last Modified:29 Jan 2024 02:42
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:2051-1426
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1136/jitc-2022-004668
PubMed ID:35793872
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)