Talimogene laherparepvec in combination with ipilimumab versus ipilimumab alone for advanced melanoma: 5-year final analysis of a multicenter, randomized, open-label, phase II trial

Talimogene laherparepvec (T-VEC) plus ipilimumab has demonstrated greater antitumor activity versus ipilimumab alone, without additional toxicity, in patients with advanced melanoma. Here, we report the 5-year outcomes from a randomized phase II study. These data provide the longest efficacy and safety follow-up for patients with melanoma treated with a combination of an oncolytic virus and a checkpoint inhibitor.Eligible patients with unresectable stage IIIB‒IV melanoma were randomized 1:1 to receive T-VEC plus ipilimumab or ipilimumab alone. T-VEC was administered intralesionally at 106 plaque-forming units (PFU)/mL in week 1, followed by 108 PFU/mL in week 4 and every 2 weeks thereafter. Ipilimumab (3 mg/kg every 3 weeks; ≤4 doses) was administered intravenously starting at week 1 in the ipilimumab arm and week 6 in the combination arm. The primary end point was investigator-assessed objective response rate (ORR) per immune-related response criteria; key secondary end points included durable response rate (DRR), duration of response (DOR), progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and safety.Overall, 198 patients were randomized to receive the combination (n=98) or ipilimumab (n=100). The combination improved the ORR versus ipilimumab (35.7% vs 16.0%; OR 2.9; 95% CI 1.5 to 5.7; p=0.003). DRR was 33.7% and 13.0% (unadjusted OR 3.4; 95% CI 1.7 to 7.0; descriptive p=0.001), respectively. Among the objective responders, the median DOR was 69.2 months (95% CI 38.5 to not estimable) with the combination and was not reached with ipilimumab. Median PFS was 13.5 months with the combination and 6.4 months with ipilimumab (HR 0.78; 95% CI 0.55 to 1.09; descriptive p=0.14). This is the first randomized controlled study of the combination of an oncolytic virus and a checkpoint inhibitor that meets its primary end point.Trial registration number: NCT01740297.


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