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CCCZ Science Highlight: Neoadjuvant Talimogene Laherparepvec Plus Surgery Versus Surgery Alone For Resectable Stage IIIB-IVM1a Melanoma: A Randomized, Open-Label, Phase 2 Trial

09. November 2021

Nat Med.

Dummer R, Gyorki DE, Hyngstrom J, Berger AC, Conry R, Demidov L, Sharma A, Treichel SA, Radcliffe H, Gorski KS, Anderson A, Chan E, Faries M, Ross MI *CCCZ Members in bold


Talimogene laherparepvec (T-VEC) is a herpes simplex virus type 1-based intralesional oncolytic immunotherapy approved for the treatment of unresectable melanoma. The present, ongoing study aimed to estimate the treatment effect of neoadjuvant T-VEC on recurrence-free survival (RFS) of patients with advanced resectable melanoma. An open-label, phase 2 trial (NCT02211131) was conducted in 150 patients with resectable stage IIIB–IVM1a melanoma who were randomized to receive T-VEC followed by surgery (arm 1, n = 76) or surgery alone (arm 2, n = 74). The primary endpoint was a 2-year RFS in the intention-to-treat population. Secondary and exploratory endpoints included overall survival (OS), pathological complete response (pCR), safety and biomarker analyses. The 2-year RFS was 29.5% in arm 1 and 16.5% in arm 2 (overall hazard ratio (HR) = 0.75, 80% confidence interval (CI) = 0.58–0.96). The 2-year OS was 88.9% for arm 1 and 77.4% for arm 2 (overall HR = 0.49, 80% CI = 0.30–0.79). The RFS and OS differences between arms persisted at 3 years. In arm 1, 17.1% achieved a pCR. Increased CD8+ density correlated with clinical outcomes in an exploratory analysis. Arm 1 adverse events were consistent with previous reports for T-VEC. The present study met its primary endpoint and estimated a 25% reduction in the risk of disease recurrence for neoadjuvant T-VEC plus surgery versus upfront surgery for patients with resectable stage IIIB–IVM1a melanoma.

Proposed Mechanism of Action for T-VEC

Nat Med. 2021 Oct;27(10):1789-1796
doi: 10.1038/s41591-021-01510-7

Verantwortlicher Fachbereich

Comprehensive Cancer Center Zürich