L19–IL2 is a recombinant protein comprising the cytokine IL2 fused to the single-chain monoclonal antibody L19. In previous studies, intralesional injection with IL2 has shown efficacy for the locoregional treatment of cutaneous/subcutaneous metastases in patients with advanced melanoma. The objectives of this study were to investigate whether (i) intralesional delivery of a targeted form of IL2 would yield similar results, with reduction of injection frequency and treatment duration; and (ii) systemic immune responses were induced by the local treatment. Patients with stage IIIB/IIIC melanoma and cutaneous/subcutaneous injectable metastases received weekly intratumoral injections of L19–IL2 at a maximum dose of 10 MIU/week for 4 consecutive weeks. Tumor response was evaluated 12 weeks after the first treatment. Twenty-four of 25 patients were evaluable for therapy-induced responses. A complete response (CR) by modified immune-related response criteria (irRC) of all treated metastases was achieved in 6 patients (25%), with long-lasting responses in most cases (5 patients for ≥24 months). Objective responses were documented in 53.9% of all index lesions [44.4% CR and 9.5% partial responses (by irRC)], and 36.5% of these remained stable, while 9.5% progressed. Toxicity was comparable with that of free IL2, and no serious adverse events were recorded. A significant temporary increase of peripheral regulatory T cells and natural killer cells, sustained increase of absolute CD4+ lymphocytes, and decrease of myeloid-derived suppressor cells were observed upon treatment. Finally, we recorded encouraging data about the progression time to distant metastases and overall survival. Cancer Immunol Res; 2(7); 1–11. ©2014 AACR.
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Cancer Immunology Research Online (http://cancerimmunolres.aacrjournals.org/).
- Received November 22, 2013.
- Revision received March 18, 2014.
- Accepted March 18, 2014.
- ©2014 American Association for Cancer Research.