Systemic LRG1 expression in melanoma is associated with disease progression and recurrence.
Abstract The response rates upon neoadjuvant immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) in stage III melanoma are higher as compared with stage IV disease. Given that successful ICB depends on systemic immune response, we hypothesized that systemic immune suppression might be a mechanism responsible for lower response rates in late-stage disease, and also potentially with disease recurrence in early-stage disease. Plasma and serum samples of cohorts of patients with melanoma were analyzed for circulating proteins using mass spectrometry proteomic profiling and Olink proteomic assay. A cohort of paired samples of patients with stage III that progressed to stage IV disease (n [...]
Baseline ultrasound and FDG-PET/CT imaging in Merkel cell carcinoma.
Abstract Background: Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a cutaneous tumor with a high tendency to metastasize, and a significant proportion of patients have metastases at first presentation. This study aims to determine the value of baseline ultrasound (US) and 18 fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography/computed tomography (18 FDG-PET/CT) imaging in both patients with clinically localized MCC (Stage I/II) and patients who present with palpable lymph nodes (Stage III). Methods: This retrospective cohort included 135 MCC patients who underwent baseline US (with fine needle aspiration cytology (FNAC)) and/or FDG-PET/CT imaging between 2015 and 2021. Results: Of the 104 patients with clinically localized [...]
IFN-γ signature enables selection of neoadjuvant treatment in patients with stage III melanoma.
Abstract Neoadjuvant ipilimumab + nivolumab has demonstrated high pathologic response rates in stage III melanoma. Patients with low intra-tumoral interferon-γ (IFN-γ) signatures are less likely to benefit. We show that domatinostat (a class I histone deacetylase inhibitor) addition to anti-PD-1 + anti-CTLA-4 increased the IFN-γ response and reduced tumor growth in our murine melanoma model, rationalizing evaluation in patients. To stratify patients into IFN-γ high and low cohorts, we developed a baseline IFN-γ signature expression algorithm, which was prospectively tested in the DONIMI trial. Patients with stage III melanoma and high intra-tumoral IFN-γ scores were randomized to neoadjuvant nivolumab [...]
Surgical outcomes of lymph node dissections for stage III melanoma after neoadjuvant systemic therapy are not inferior to upfront surgery.
Abstract Background: Neoadjuvant systemic therapy has shown promising results in the treatment of high-risk stage III melanoma; however, the effects on surgery are currently unknown. This study aims to compare the surgical outcomes, in terms of postoperative complications, postoperative morbidity, duration of surgery and textbook outcomes, of patients with high-risk stage III melanoma who received neoadjuvant systemic therapy followed by lymph node dissection with patients who received an upfront lymph node dissection. Methods: In this retrospective cohort study, patients with high-risk stage III melanoma treated with neoadjuvant anti-PD1 and anti-CTLA4 in the OpACIN (NCT02437279) and OpACIN-neo (NCT02977052) trial between [...]
Common toxicities associated with immune checkpoint inhibitors and targeted therapy in the treatment of melanoma: A systematic scoping review
Abstract Introduction: This systematic scoping review compares the toxicities experienced by patients receiving immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) or targeted therapy (TT) for stage III (resected and unresectable) and stage IV melanoma. Methods: OVID Medline, Embase, and PsycInfo were searched to identify Phase III trials reporting toxicities of FDA-approved ICIs and TT for advanced melanoma. AEs that were reported by ≥ 10% of patients in the evaluated trials were included. Results: Toxicity profiles of 11208 patients from 24 studies were reviewed. The rate of AEs was lower with ICIs compared to TT. However, ICIs were associated with higher rates of [...]
ASO Visual Abstract: Is a History of Optimal Staging by SLNB in the Era Prior to Adjuvant Therapy Associated with Improved Outcome Once Melanoma Patients have Progressed to Advanced Disease?
Abstract Introduction: Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) is important for staging in patients with primary cutaneous melanoma. Did having previously undergone SLNB also affect outcomes in patients once they have progressed to metastatic melanoma in the era prior to adjuvant therapy? Methods: Data were retrieved from the Dutch Melanoma Treatment Registry, a prospectively collected, nationwide database of patients with unresectable stage IIIC or IV (advanced) melanoma between 2012 and 2018. Melanoma-specific survival (MSS) was compared between patients with advanced cutaneous melanoma, previously treated with a wide local excision (WLE) or WLE combined with SLNB as initial treatment of their [...]
Survival update of neoadjuvant ipilimumab plus nivolumab in macroscopic stage III melanoma in the OpACIN and OpACIN-neo trials.
Abstract Background Neoadjuvant ipilimumab plus nivolumab has yielded high response rates in patients with macroscopic stage III melanoma. These response rates translated to high short-term survival rates. However, data on long-term survival and disease recurrence are lacking. Patients and methods In OpACIN, 20 patients with macroscopic stage III melanoma were randomized to ipilimumab 3 mg/kg plus nivolumab 1 mg/kg q3w four cycles of adjuvant or split two cycles of neoadjuvant and two adjuvant. In OpACIN-neo, 86 patients with macroscopic stage III melanoma were randomized to arm A (2× ipilimumab 3 mg/kg plus nivolumab 1 mg/kg q3w; n = 30), [...]
Neo-Adjuvant Immunotherapy emerges as best medical practice and will be the new standard of care for macroscopic stage III Melanoma.
Abstract Survival of macroscopic stage III melanoma is poor. Five-year overall survival and relapse-free survival rates for surgery alone range from 40 to 59% and 30 to–39%, respectively. The current standard of care is therapeutic lymph node dissection (TLND) followed by a year of adjuvant systemic therapy. Multiple phase 2 trials have shown that neo-adjuvant immunotherapy induces major pathologic response (MPR) rates (pathologic complete response (pCR): pCR, 0% viable tumour cells; near-pCR, <10% viable tumour cells), which translate into durable relapse free survival rates. Single agent anti-PD-1 achieves 20–30% MPR, the combination of ipilimumab and nivolumab doubles the MPR [...]
Alternatives and Reduced need for Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy (SLNB) Staging for Melanoma
Abstract Sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) has been introduced in the 1990s to identify patients who might benefit from completion lymph node dissection. Neither SLNB nor CLND improved survival, but SLNB staging did provide the best staging, above Breslow thickness and ulceration. The SLN status and SLN tumour burden were used in all trials until date looking at modern adjuvant systemic therapy with immune checkpoint inhibition (ICI) or targeted therapies (TT). Adjuvant ICI and TT are shifting towards stage II melanoma. The question is whether there is still role for SLNB in melanoma, in this day and age, and [...]