Baseline biomarkers correlated with outcome in advanced melanoma treated with pembrolizumab monotherapy.

Gil Awada, Julia Katharina Schwarze, Odrade Gondry, Yanina Jansen, SuFey Ong, Kara M. Gorman, Sarah Warren, Mark Kockx, Teofila Seremet, Marleen Keyaerts, Hendrik Everaert, Bart Neyns

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract (Journal)


Background: Pembrolizumab (PEMBRO) improves survival in advanced melanoma (MEL). This research investigates baseline (BL) biomarkers that predict long-term benefit on PEMBRO monotherapy. Methods: Outcome data on patients (pts) with advanced cutaneous/mucosal MEL treated with PEMBRO in our institution were collected after pt consent. Responses were evaluated using the immune-related response criteria. Total metabolic tumor volume (TMTV), assessed by 18-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography, was calculated as the sum of all tumor-associated voxels with a standardized uptake value (SUV) above the mean SUV measured in a reference region in normal liver tissue plus 3 standard deviations using Syngo.via software (Siemens Healthcare). The NanoString PanCancer IO360 panel was used for gene expression profiling (GEP). Results: A total of 196 pts was included in this analysis (median age 60; cutaneous 86%, mucosal 3%, unknown primary 12%; stage III 14%, IV-M1a/b/c 60%, IV-M1d 26%; first-line 24%). Median progression-free survival (PFS) in the population was 20.4 w (95% CI 10.2-30.7); median overall survival (OS) was 143.6 w (95% CI NR-NR). BL WHO Performance Status (PS) > 0 (HR 1.63 [95% CI 1.13-2.37]), C-reactive protein (CRP) > ULN (HR 1.92 [95% CI 1.33-2.77]), absolute lymphocyte count (ALC) < 750/mm³ (HR 2.45 [95% CI 1.32-4.55]) and > 1 metastatic site (HR 1.84 [95% CI 1.23-2.77]) were associated (P≤0.01) with worse PFS in multivariate analysis (Cox regression); BL WHO PS > 0 (HR 2.77 [95% CI 1.82-4.24]), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) > ULN (HR 1.80 [95% CI 1.16-2.79]) and > 1 metastatic site (HR 1.95 [95% CI 1.16-3.25]) were associated with worse OS (P≤0.011). BL TMTV data were available in 118 pts (60%): BL CRP > ULN (HR 1.83 [95% CI 1.13-2.96]), ALC < 750/mm³ (HR 2.49 [95% CI 1.02-6.08]), > 1 metastatic site (HR 1.71 [95% CI 1.04-2.82]) and BL corticosteroid use (HR 4.62 [95% CI 1.38-15.45]) were associated with worse PFS (P < 0.05). BL WHO PS > 0 (HR 2.82 [95% CI 1.57-5.08]), ALC < 750/mm³ (HR 2.62 [95% CI 1.06-6.51]), history of brain metastases (HR 2.59 [95% CI 1.37-4.91]) and TMTV > 80 mL (HR 3.56 [95% CI 1.82-6.95]) were all associated with worse OS (P≤0.038). GEP data on a representative BL tumor sample were available in 27 pts (14%). Higher apoptosis signature scores were associated with increased probability of OS (HR 0.45 [95% CI 0.33-0.73], P < 0.01). Conclusions: BL TMTV > 80 mL identifies a subgroup of advanced MEL pts with worse outcome on PEMBRO. Increased apoptosis gene signature scores in a subset of patients predict increased OS.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere22041
JournalJ Clin Oncol
Issue numberno. 15_suppl
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventASCO Annual Meeting 2020 - Virtual, Chicago, United States
Duration: 29 May 202031 May 2020


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