JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

CTLA-4 and PD-1/PD-L1 blockade: new immunotherapeutic modalities with durable clinical benefit in melanoma patients

Patrick A Ott, F Stephen Hodi, Caroline Robert
Clinical Cancer Research: An Official Journal of the American Association for Cancer Research 2013 October 1, 19 (19): 5300-9
24089443
Immune checkpoint blockade with monoclonal antibodies directed at the inhibitory immune receptors CTLA-4, PD-1, and PD-L1 has emerged as a successful treatment approach for patients with advanced melanoma. Ipilimumab is the first agent associated with a documented improved overall survival benefit in this patient population. A striking attribute of CTLA-4 blockade is the durability of objective responses, leading to speculation of a possible cure for some patients. Many tumor responses achieved with PD-1 and PD-L1 inhibition were durable in the phase I trials and were seen in a higher proportion of patients with melanoma than typically observed with ipilimumab. Biomarker development to identify the subset of patients with melanoma who will achieve durable clinical benefit with checkpoint blockade is critical; tumor PD-L1 expression has been promising in early studies. The contrast between unprecedented response rates but limited durability of responses achieved with BRAF and MEK inhibition in BRAF(V600)-mutated melanoma and the impressive durability but relatively low rate of response achieved with immune checkpoint blockade is striking. Preclinical data on potential synergies between CTLA-4/PD-1/PD-L1 inhibition and MAPK-targeted therapy is emerging, and combined immune checkpoint blockade and MAPK inhibition are being explored in clinical trials. Other promising approaches to increase the number of patients with melanoma who benefit from durable responses with immune checkpoint blockade include concurrent or sequenced CTLA-4 and PD-1/PD-L1 inhibition and combination with other immunotherapeutic strategies. Clin Cancer Res; 19(19); 5300-9. ©2013 AACR.

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