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Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2018 Jan;67(1):39-45. doi: 10.1007/s00262-017-2061-4. Epub 2017 Sep 11.

Tumor infiltrating lymphocytes in lymph node metastases of stage III melanoma correspond to response and survival in nine patients treated with ipilimumab at the time of stage IV disease.

Author information

1
Department of Oncology and Hematology, Cantonal Hospital St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland.
2
Department of Oncology and Hematology, Hospital Grabs, Grabs, Switzerland.
3
Department of Dermatology/Allergology, Cantonal Hospital St. Gallen, Rorschacherstrasse 95, 9007, St. Gallen, Switzerland.
4
Institute of Immunobiology, Cantonal Hospital St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland.
5
Institute of Pathology, Cantonal Hospital Baselland, Liestal, Switzerland.
6
Translational Research Unit (TRU), Institute of Pathology, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.
7
Institute of Pathology, Cantonal Hospital St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland.
8
Department of Oncology, Lausanne University Hospital Center (CHUV) and University of Lausanne, Epalinges, Switzerland.
9
Department of Dermatology/Allergology, Cantonal Hospital St. Gallen, Rorschacherstrasse 95, 9007, St. Gallen, Switzerland. lukas.flatz@kssg.ch.
10
Institute of Immunobiology, Cantonal Hospital St. Gallen, St. Gallen, Switzerland. lukas.flatz@kssg.ch.
11
Department of Dermatology, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland. lukas.flatz@kssg.ch.

Abstract

Prognosis of metastatic melanoma improved with the development of checkpoint inhibitors. The role of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in lymph node metastases of stage III melanoma remains unclear. We retrospectively characterized TILs in primary melanomas and matched lymph node metastases (stage III melanoma) of patients treated with the checkpoint inhibitor ipilimumab. Tumor infiltrating lymphocytes were characterized for CD3, CD4, and CD8 expressions by immunohistochemistry. 4/9 patients (44%) responded to treatment with ipilimumab (1 complete and 2 partial remissions, 1 stable disease). All responders exhibited CD4 and CD8 T-cell infiltration in their lymph node metastases, whereas all non-responders did not show an infiltration of the lymph node metastasis with TILs. The correlation between the presence and absence of TILs in responders vs. non-responders was statistically significant (p = 0.008). Median distant metastases free survival, i.e., progression from stage III to stage IV melanoma, was similar in responders and non-responders (22.1 vs. 19.3 months; p = 0.462). Median progression free and overall survival show a trend in favor of the patients having TIL rich lymph node metastases (6.8 vs. 3.3 months, p = 0.09; and all alive at last follow-up vs. 8.2 months, respectively, p = 0.08). Our data suggest a correlation between the T-cell infiltration of the lymph node metastases in stage III melanoma and the response to ipilimumab once these patients progress to stage IV disease.

KEYWORDS:

Immunotherapy; Ipilimumab; Melanoma; Tumor infiltrating lymphocytes

PMID:
28894934
DOI:
10.1007/s00262-017-2061-4
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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