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Utomilumab in Patients With Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor-Refractory Melanoma and Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer


Section head

Clinical/translational cancer immunotherapy.


The goal of this study was to estimate the objective response rate for utomilumab in adults with immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI)-refractory melanoma and non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).


Utomilumab was dosed intravenously every 4 weeks (Q4W) and adverse events (AEs) monitored. Tumor responses by RECIST1.1 were assessed by baseline and on-treatment scans. Tumor biopsies were collected for detection of programmed cell death ligand 1, CD8, 4-1BB, perforin, and granzyme B, and gene expression analyzed by next-generation sequencing. CD8+ T cells from healthy donors were stimulated with anti-CD3 ± utomilumab and compared with control.


Patients with melanoma (n=43) and NSCLC (n=20) received utomilumab 0.24 mg/kg (n=36), 1.2 mg/kg (n=26), or 10 mg/kg (n=1). Treatment-emergent AEs (TEAEs) occurred in 55 (87.3%) patients and serious TEAEs in 18 (28.6%). Five (7.9%) patients discontinued owing to TEAEs. Thirty-two (50.8%) patients experienced treatment-related AEs, mostly grade 1-2. Objective response rate: 2.3% in patients with melanoma; no confirmed responses for patients with NSCLC. Ten patients each with melanoma (23.3%) or NSCLC (50%) had stable disease; respective median (95% confidence interval, CI) progression-free survival was 1.8 (1.7-1.9) and 3.6 (1.6-6.5) months. Utomilumab exposure increased with dose. The incidences of antidrug and neutralizing antibodies were 46.3% and 19.4%, respectively. Efficacy was associated with immune-active tumor microenvironments, and pharmacodynamic activity appeared to be blunted at higher doses.


Utomilumab was well tolerated, but antitumor activity was low in patients who previously progressed on ICIs. The potential of 4-1BB agonists requires additional study to optimize efficacy while maintaining the tolerable safety profile.

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