Purpose: Intratumoral interleukin-2 (IL-2) is effective but does not generate systemic immunity. Intravenous ipilimumab produces durable clinical response in a minority of patients, with potentially severe toxicities. Circulating anti-tumor T cells activated by ipilimumab may differ greatly from tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes activated by intratumoral ipilimumab in phenotypes and functionality. The objective of this study was to primarily assess the safety of intratumoral ipilimumab/IL-2 combination and to obtain data on clinical efficacy. Results: There was no dose limiting toxicity. While local response of injected lesions was observed in 67% patients (95% CI, 40%-93%), an abscopal response was seen in 89% (95% CI, 68%-100%). The overall response rate and clinical benefit rate by immune-related response criteria (irRC) was 40% (95% CI, 10%-70%) and 50% (95% CI, 19%-81%), respectively. Enhanced systemic immune response was observed in most patients and correlated with clinical responses. Experimental Design: Twelve patients with unresectable stages III/IV melanoma were enrolled. A standard 3+3 design was employed to assess highest tolerable intratumoral dose of ipilimumab and IL-2 based on toxicity during the first three weeks. Escalated doses of ipilimumab was injected into only one lesion weekly for eight weeks in cohorts of three patients. A fixed dose of IL-2 was injected three times a week into the same lesion for two weeks, followed by two times a week for six weeks. Conclusions: Intratumoral injection with the combination of ipilimumab/IL-2 is well tolerated and generates responses in both injected and non-injected lesions in the majority of patients.
- Abscopal effect
ASJC Scopus subject areas