J Immunother Cancer. 2022 Jul;10(7):e004610. doi: 10.1136/jitc-2022-004610.
BACKGROUND: Patients with V600BRAF mutant metastatic melanoma have higher rates of progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) with first-line anti-PD1 (PD1]+anti-CTLA-4 (IPI) versus PD1. Whether this is also true after BRAF/MEKi therapy is unknown. We aimed to determine the efficacy and safety of PD1 versus IPI +PD1 after BRAF/MEK inhibitors (BRAF/MEKi).
METHODS: Patients with V600BRAF mutant metastatic melanoma treated with BRAF/MEKi who had subsequent PD1 versus IPI+PD1 at eight centers were included. The endpoints were objective response rate (ORR), PFS, OS and safety in each group.
RESULTS: Of 200 patients with V600E (75%) or non-V600E (25%) mutant metastatic melanoma treated with BRAF/MEKi (median time of treatment 7.6 months; treatment cessation due to progressive disease in 77%), 115 (57.5%) had subsequent PD1 and 85 (42.5%) had IPI+PD1. Differences in patient characteristics between PD1 and IPI+PD1 groups included, age (med. 63 vs 54 years), time between BRAF/MEKi and PD1±IPI (16 vs 4 days), Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Performance Status (ECOG PS) of ≥1 (62% vs 44%), AJCC M1C/M1D stage (72% vs 94%) and progressing brain metastases at the start of PD1±IPI (34% vs 57%). Median follow-up from PD1±IPI start was 37.8 months (95% CI, 33.9 to 52.9). ORR was 36%; 34% with PD1 vs 39% with IPI+PD1 (p=0.5713). Median PFS was 3.4 months; 3.4 with PD1 vs 3.6 months with IPI+PD1 (p=0.6951). Median OS was 15.4 months; 14.4 for PD1 vs 20.5 months with IPI+PD1 (p=0.2603). The rate of grade 3 or 4 toxicities was higher with IPI+PD1 (31%) vs PD1 (7%). ORR, PFS and OS were numerically higher with IPI+PD1 vs PD1 across most subgroups except for females, those with <10 days between BRAF/MEKi and PD1±IPI, and those with stage III/M1A/M1B melanoma. The combination of ECOG PS=0 and absence of liver metastases identified patients with >3 years OS (area under the curve, AUC=0.74), while ECOG PS ≥1, progressing brain metastases and presence of bone metastases predicted primary progression (AUC=0.67).
CONCLUSIONS: IPI+PD1 and PD1 after BRAF/MEKi have similar outcomes despite worse baseline prognostic features in the IPI+PD1 group, however, IPI+PD1 is more toxic. A combination of clinical factors can identify long-term survivors, but less accurately those with primary resistance to immunotherapy after targeted therapy.