Efficacy of ipilimumab 3mn/kg following progression on low-dose ipilimumab in metastatic melanoma.

Lai-Kwon J, Hacques S, Carlino M, Benannoune N, Robert C, Baroudjian B, Lebbe C, Zinner L, Eroglu Z, Topcu TO, Dimitriou F, Haydon A, Lo SN, Menzies AM, Long GV, European Journal of Cancer, 2023 Mar 10, doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2023.03.006


Background: Differing doses of ipilimumab (IPI) are used in combination with an anti-PD1 antibody in advanced melanoma. There is no data on the outcomes of patients who progress following low-dose IPI (< 3 mg/kg) and are subsequently treated with IPI 3 mg/kg (IPI3). We conducted a multicentre retrospective survey to assess the efficacy of this strategy.

Methods: Patients with resected stage III, unresectable stage III or IV melanoma who received low dose IPI (< 3 mg/kg) with an anti-PD1 antibody with recurrence (neo/adjuvant) or progressive disease (metastatic), who then received IPI3± anti-PD1 antibody were eligible. Best investigator-determined Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumours response, progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were analysed.

Results: Total 36 patients received low-dose IPI with an anti-PD1 antibody, 18 (50%) in the neo/adjuvant and 18 (50%) in the metastatic setting. Of which, 20 (56%) had primary resistance and 16 (44%) had acquired resistance. All patients received IPI3 for unresectable stage III or IV melanoma; median age 60 (29-78), 18 (50%) M1d disease, 32 (89%) Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status 0-1. Around 35 (97%) received IPI3 with nivolumab and 1 received IPI3 alone. The response rate to IPI3 was 9/36 (25%). In patients with primary resistance, the response rate was 6/20 (30%). After a median follow-up of 22 months (95% CI: 15-27 months), the median PFS and OS were not reached in patients who responded; 1-year PFS and OS were 73% and 100%, respectively.

Conclusions: IPI3 following recurrence/progression on low dose IPI has clinical activity, including in primary resistance. IPI dosing is therefore critical in a subset of patients.