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Safety And Efficacy Of Combination Immunotherapy With Interferon Alfa-2b And Tremelimumab In Patients With Stage IV Melanoma.

A. Tarhini, John Cherian, S. Moschos, H. Tawbi, Y. Shuai, W. Gooding, C. Sander, J. Kirkwood
Published 2012 · Medicine

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PURPOSE We tested the hypothesis that the combination of tremelimumab and interferon alfa-2b acting via different and possibly synergistic mechanisms would overcome tumor immune tolerance and lead to significant and durable clinical responses. PATIENTS AND METHODS We conducted a phase II study in which patients were administered tremelimumab 15 mg/kg/course (three cycles [one cycle = 4 weeks]) intravenously every 12 weeks. High-dose interferon alfa-2b (HDI) was administered concurrently, including intravenous induction at 20 MU/m2/d for 5 d/wk for 4 weeks followed by maintenance at 10 MU/m2/d subcutaneously three times a week for 8 weeks per course. From course 2 onward, HDI maintenance was administered subcutaneously. RESULTS Thirty-seven patients with American Joint Committee on Cancer stage IV (9M1a, 6M1b, and 22M1c) were enrolled. Two patients had previously treated brain metastases. Grades 3 and 4 toxicities included neutropenia (six patients; 17%), diarrhea/colitis (four patients; 11%), liver enzyme increase (four patients; 11%), rash (four patients; 11%), fatigue (15 patients; 40%), and anxiety/depression (five patients; 14%). Response data were available for 35 patients. The best objective response rate (RR; Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors) by intention to treat was 24% (90% CI, 13% to 36%; four complete responses [CRs] and five partial responses [PRs] that lasted 6, 6, > 12, > 14, > 18, 20, > 28, 30, and > 37 months, respectively). Fourteen patients (38%) had stable disease (SD) that lasted 1.5 to 21 months. The median progression-free survival was 6.4 months (95% CI, 3.3 to 12.1 months). The median overall survival (OS) was 21 months (95% CI, 9.5 to not reached). There was a weak association between therapy-induced autoimmunity and clinical benefits (CR/PR/SD; P = .0059), baseline C-reactive protein (CRP) less than or equal to 2.7× the upper limit of normal and clinical benefits (P = .0494) and improved probability of survival (P = .0032), and baseline lymphocyte count of at least 1,000/μL and response (CR/PR; P = .0183) and clinical benefits (CR/PR/SD; P = .0255). Biomarker associations were not significant after adjustment for multiple comparisons. CONCLUSION HDI can be administered combined with tremelimumab with acceptable toxicity and promising durable antitumor efficacy that warrant further testing in a randomized trial.
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