Early on-treatment assessment of T-cells, cytokines and tumor DNA with adaptively-dosed nivolumab + ipilimumab: final results from the phase 2 ADAPT-IT study.

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PURPOSE: ADAPT-IT (NCT03122522) investigated adaptive ipilimumab discontinuation in melanoma based on early radiographic assessment. Initial findings indicated similar effectiveness compared to conventional nivolumab-ipilimumab (nivo-ipi). Exploratory biomarker analyses and final clinical results are now reported.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with unresectable melanoma received two doses of nivo-ipi. Radiographic assessment at Week 6 informed continuation of ipilimumab before nivolumab maintenance. The primary endpoint was overall response rate (ORR) at Week 12. Plasma was assayed for circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) and ten cytokines using a multiplex immunoassay. Flow cytometry of peripheral blood mononuclear cells was performed with an 11-color panel.

RESULTS: Among treated patients, expansion of proliferating T-cell populations was observed in both responders and non-responders. Baseline IL-6 levels were lower in patients achieving an objective radiographic response (median 1.30 vs 2.86 pg/mL; p=0.025). Higher baseline IL-6 levels were associated with shorter progression-freesurvival (PFS; hazard ratio (HR)=1.24, 95% CI:1.01-1.52; p=0.041). At Week 6, patients with response had lower average tumor variant allele fractions (VAF) compared to non-responders (median 0.000 v 0.019; p=0.014). Greater increases in average VAF from baseline to Week 6 correlated with shorter PFS (HR=1.11, 95% CI:1.01-1.21; p=0.023). Week 12 ORR was 47% (95% CI:35-59%) with a median follow-up of 34 months among survivors. Median PFS was 21 months (95% CI:10-not reached); 76% of responses (95% CI:64%-91%) persisted at 36 months.

CONCLUSIONS: Adaptively dosed nivo-ipi responses are durable and resemble historical data for conventional nivo-ipi. Baseline IL-6 and ctDNA changes during treatment warrant further study as biomarkers of nivo-ipi response.

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Medicine and Health Sciences




Department of Medicine, Hematology-Medical Oncology Division

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