BACKGROUND: Patients with recurrent glioblastoma (rGB) have a poor prognosis with a median overall survival (OS) of 30-39 weeks in prospective clinical trials. Intravenous administration of programmed cell death protein 1 and cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 inhibitors has low activity in patients with rGB. In this phase I clinical trial, intracerebral (IC) administration of ipilimumab (IPI) and nivolumab (NIVO) in combination with intravenous administration of NIVO was investigated.
METHODS: Within 24 hours following the intravenous administration of a fixed dose (10 mg) of NIVO, patients underwent a maximal safe resection, followed by injection of IPI (10 mg; cohort-1), or IPI (5 mg) plus NIVO (10 mg; cohort-2) in the brain tissue lining the resection cavity. Intravenous administration of NIVO (10 mg) was repeated every 2 weeks (max. five administrations). Next generation sequencing and RNA gene expression profiling was performed on resected tumor tissue.
RESULTS: Twenty-seven patients were enrolled (cohort-1: n=3; cohort-2: n=24). All patients underwent maximal safe resection and planned IC administrations and preoperative NIVO. Thirteen patients (cohort-1: n=3; cohort-2: n=10) received all five postoperative intravenous doses of NIVO. In cohort-2, 14 patients received a median of 3 (range 1-4) intravenous doses. Subacute postoperative neurological deterioration (n=2) was reversible on steroid treatment; no other central nervous system toxicity was observed. Immune-related adverse events were infrequent and mild. GB recurrence was diagnosed in 26 patients (median progression-free survival (PFS) is 11.7 weeks (range 2-152)); 21 patients have died due to progression. Median OS is 38 weeks (95% CI: 27 to 49) with a 6-month, 1-year, and 2-year OS-rate of, respectively, 74.1% (95% CI: 57 to 90), 40.7% (95% CI: 22 to 59), and 27% (95% CI: 9 to 44). OS compares favorable against a historical cohort (descriptive Log-Rank p>0.003). No significant difference was found with respect to PFS (descriptive Log-Rank test p>0.05). A higher tumor mRNA expression level of B7-H3 was associated with a significantly worse survival (multivariate Cox logistic regression, p>0.029).
CONCLUSION: IC administration of NIVO and IPI following maximal safe resection of rGB was feasible, safe, and associated with encouraging OS.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT03233152.