Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology - Research Publications

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    HIGH DOSE-RATE BRACHYTHERAPY OF LOCALIZED PROSTATE CANCER CONVERTS TUMORS FROM COLD TO HOT
    Keam, S ; Halse, H ; ThuNgoc, N ; Wang, M ; Losio, NVK ; Mitchell, C ; Caramia, F ; Byrne, D ; Haupt, S ; Ryland, G ; Darcy, P ; Sandhu, S ; Blombery, P ; Haupt, Y ; Williams, S ; Neeson, P (BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2020-11-01)
    Background Prostate cancer is frequently cured with high dose-rate brachytherapy (HDRBT) radiation as a front-line treatment. Although considered to be an immune-excluded tissue, immune responses to radiation are implicated in driving tumour-eradication in prostate cancer.1 This has not been proven, and yet is used as the rationale for clinical trials combining radiation and immunotherapies.2 We hypothesise that there is a predictable relationship between radiation and the immune responses in prostate cancer that could be used to provide sound rationale for specific immune interventions in solid tumours that are made possible by radiation therapy. Methods We present here new results stemming from our recently published immunoprofiling study of world-unique pre- and post-radiation tissues from 24 prostate cancer patients (figure 1A), RadBank cohort).3 These samples were assessed using immune cell multiplex IHC, gene expression profiling, digital spatial profiling (DSP) and computational analysis of cell distribution. Results This study unequivocally revealed that high dose-rate radiation converts predominately ‘cold’ prostate tumour tissue to a more activated ‘hot’ state comprised of two sub-types (high and a less activated intermediate state). These changes were evident in increased tumour inflammation gene signatures and immune checkpoint expression, immune cell composition changes, and alterations in spatial interactions. However, as 20% of the patients did not respond, we also explored pre-treatment gene signatures of patient responses to radiation – identifying potential mechanisms that prime tissues to respond more favourably. Most recently, we have explored three other important facets of the immune response to HDRBT: (i) putative differential drivers of high and intermediate responses (figure 1B), (ii) TCR clonality changes (figure 1C), and (iii) the influence of clinical features (e.g. Gleason grade) and treatment (e.g. androgen deprivation) (figure 1D). Differential expression analysis has identified key molecules (e.g. CD40LG and Lck expression) which are associated with higher activation responses. TCR sequencing of pre- and post-HDRBT tissue and peripheral circulating cells is also suggestive of engagement of the adaptive immune system and the emergence of tumor-specific T cells. Finally, multivariate analysis has also revealed that higher grade tumours exhibit higher basal levels of activation and IC expression – making them less sensitive to immune activation by HDRBT. Abstract 580 Figure 1The effect of prostate brachytherapy on immune contexts(A) Study of immune response in 24 patients treated with HDRBT at Peter MacCallum Cancer Center ((DOI:10.1136/jitc2020-000792). Examples of new insights including (B) molecules associated with higher activation levels (e.g. Lck and CD40LG/CD154), (C) changes in T cell receptor dominance and diversity in tissue and peripheral circulation, and (D) effects of clinical attributes on immune modulators (e.g. TGFbeta) and TIS activation states. Conclusions We have begun to resolve clear patient and clinical classifiers based on immune responses to radiation, and identified patient groups likely to benefit from immune therapy alongside radiation. Importantly, these classifications are associated with baseline gene expression profiles that may be used for pre-clinical stratification and more sophisticated treatment paradigms. Ethics Approval All participants provided consent covering tissue research as part of a prospective tissue collection study for prostate radiobiology research, approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre (PMCC; HREC approvals 10/68, 13/167, 18/204). Consent Written informed consent was obtained from the patient for publication of this abstract and any accompanying images. A copy of the written consent is available for review by the Editor of this journal. References Dudzinski SO, et al., Combination immunotherapy and radiotherapy causes an abscopal treatment response in a mouse model of castration resistant prostate cancer. J Immunother Cancer 2019. 7(1): p. 218. Kwon E.D., et al., Ipilimumab versus placebo after radiotherapy in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer that had progressed after docetaxel chemotherapy (CA184-043): a multicentre, randomised, double-blind, phase 3 trial. Lancet Oncol 2014;15(7): p. 700–12. Keam SP, et al., High dose-rate brachytherapy of localized prostate cancer converts tumors from cold to hot. J Immunother Cancer 2020;8(1).
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    A TOOLKIT FOR THE QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS OF THE SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION OF CELLS OF THE TUMOR IMMUNE MICROENVIRONMENT
    Trigos, A ; Yang, T ; Feng, Y ; Ozcoban, V ; Doyle, M ; Pasam, A ; Kocovski, N ; Pizzolla, A ; Huang, Y-K ; Bass, G ; Keam, S ; Speed, T ; Neeson, P ; Sandhu, S ; Goode, D (BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2020-11-01)
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    CD8+TISSUE-RESIDENT MEMORY T CELLS ARE TUMOUR REACTIVE AND INCREASE AFTER IMMUNOTHERAPY IN A CASE OF METASTATIC MUCOSAL MELANOMA
    Pizzolla, A ; Keam, S ; Vergara, I ; Caramia, F ; Wang, M ; Kocovski, N ; ThuNgoc, N ; Macdonald, S ; Tantalo, D ; Petrone, P ; Yeang, HXA ; Gyorki, D ; Weppler, A ; Au-Yeung, G ; Sandhu, S ; Perdicchio, M ; McArthur, G ; Papenfuss, T ; Neeson, P (BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2020-11-01)
    Background Mucosal melanoma is a rare subtype of melanoma originating from mucosal tissues (1), metastases are very aggressive and respond poorly to therapy, including immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) such as anti-CTLA4 and anti-PD1 antibodies (2–5). CD8+ T cells constitute the most abundant immune infiltrate in metastatic melanoma, of which the Tissue Resident Memory subset (TRM) is of particular interest (6). CD8+ TRM cells express the highest levels of immune checkpoint receptors, proliferate in response to ICI and correlate with longer disease-free and overall survival (6–8). The immune landscape in mucosal melanoma remains poorly characterized. We aimed to: 1) phenotype CD8+ T cells and TRM infiltrating metastatic mucosal melanoma, 2) characterize the clonality of TRM in relation to other CD8+ T cell subsets and 3) define the capacity of CD8+ T cells and TRM to respond to melanoma cells and to in vivo and in vitro anti-PD1 treatment. Methods We investigated the CD8+ T and TRM cells infiltrating two temporally- and spatially-distant subcutaneous metastases, these originated from a primary vaginal mucosal melanoma. One metastasis was excised prior to anti-PD1 treatment and one was anti-PD1 refractory, having progressed on treatment. We used mass cytometry and single-cell RNA and TCR sequencing to characterise the phenotype and clonality of the T cells, multiplex immunohistochemistry to define their spatial relationship with tumour cells and other T cells, and functional assays to determine TRM response to tumour cells (figure 1). Results CD8+ TRM frequency increased with time and anti-PD1 treatment, forming clusters at the tumour margin. T cells in the anti-PD1 refractory lesion were more activated than T cells in the first tumour and were bound by anti-PD1 antibody in vivo. T cells could not be stimulated by anti-PD1 directly ex vivo. Both metastatic lesions shared common T cell clusters including TRM. Furthermore, TRM in each tumour shared T cell clones, suggesting the presence of common antigens between metastatic sites. Indeed, the two metastases had a similar mutational profile. In vitro expanded tumour infiltrating lymphocytes from both lesions recognized tumour cells from both lesions and the same neoantigen generated from a single point mutation in the gene CDKN1C. Finally, tumour cells stimulated TRM cells more robustly than other T cells subsets. Abstract 548 Figure 1Graphical depiction of the methods used to characterise T cells in mucosal metastatic melanoma Conclusions In this patient with vaginal mucosal melanoma, subsequent melanoma metastases of clonal origin attracted CD8+ T cells of similar specificity, among which TRM cells responded more vigorously to tumour cells than other T cells subsets. Acknowledgements The authors would like to acknowledge imCORE La Hoffmann- Roche Ltd. for funding. Ethics Approval Patients diagnosed with stage 3 or 4 metastatic melanoma and undergoing clinically indicated surgery were enrolled in prospective studies approved by the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre human ethics research committee (13/141). All experimental protocols have been approved and clinical data has been collected prospectively. References Carvajal RD, Hamid O, Ariyan C. Mucosal Melanoma. [cited 2020 Apr 1]; Available from: https://www.uptodate.com/contents/mucosal-melanoma Del Vecchio M, Di Guardo L, Ascierto PA, Grimaldi AM, Sileni VC, Pigozzo J, et al. Efficacy and safety of ipilimumab 3 mg/kg in patients with pretreated, metastatic, mucosal melanoma. Eur J Cancer Oxf Engl 1990; 2014 Jan;50(1):121–7. Postow MA, Luke JJ, Bluth MJ, Ramaiya N, Panageas KS, Lawrence DP, et al. Ipilimumab for patients with advanced mucosal melanoma. The Oncologist 2013 Jun;18(6):726–32. D’Angelo SP, Larkin J, Sosman JA, Lebbé C, Brady B, Neyns B, et al. Efficacy and safety of nivolumab alone or in combination with ipilimumab in patients with mucosal melanoma: a pooled analysis. J Clin Oncol Off J Am Soc Clin Oncol. 2017 Jan 10;35(2):226–35. Hamid O, Robert C, Ribas A, Hodi FS, Walpole E, Daud A, et al. Antitumour activity of pembrolizumab in advanced mucosal melanoma: a post-hoc analysis of KEYNOTE-001, 002, 006. Br J Cancer 2018;119(6):670–4. Boddupalli CS, Bar N, Kadaveru K, Krauthammer M, Pornputtapong N, Mai Z, et al. Interlesional diversity of T cell receptors in melanoma with immune checkpoints enriched in tissue-resident memory T cells. JCI Insight [Internet]. 2016 Dec 22 [cited 2019 Apr 24];1(21). Available from: https://insight.jci.org/articles/view/88955 Edwards J, Wilmott JS, Madore J, Gide TN, Quek C, Tasker A, et al. CD103+ Tumor-resident CD8+ T cells are associated with improved survival in immunotherapy-naïve melanoma patients and expand significantly during anti-PD-1 treatment. Clin Cancer Res Off J Am Assoc Cancer Res 2018 Jul 1;24(13):3036–45. Savas P, Virassamy B, Ye C, Salim A, Mintoff CP, Caramia F, et al. Single-cell profiling of breast cancer T cells reveals a tissue-resident memory subset associated with improved prognosis. Nat Med 2018 Jul;24(7):986–93.
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    SUN-127 Diagnostic Challenges Associated with the Rising Incidence of Endocrine Toxicity in the Era of Combination Immunotherapy
    Galligan, A ; Iravani, A ; Lasocki, A ; Wallace, R ; Weppler, A ; Au-Yeung, G ; Sachithanandan, N ; Chiang, CY ; Wentworth, J ; Colman, PG ; Kay, TW ; Krishnamurthy, B ; Sandhu, S (The Endocrine Society, 2020-05-08)
    Abstract Background: Immune checkpoint blockade is now established as standard of care in several malignancies. Trials involving combined cytotoxic T lymphocyte associated protein 4 (CTLA4) and programmed cell death protein 1 (PD1) blockade demonstrate improved tumour responses in melanoma but at the cost of severe grade 3-4 immune related adverse events (irAEs) in 55%, and endocrine irAEs in up to 10% [1]. Immune-mediated damage to endocrine glands can be a diagnostic and management challenge. We aimed to review the incidence, biochemical evolution and imaging findings of endocrine toxicity related to combined anti CTLA-4 and anti-PD-1 therapy. Methods: We undertook a retrospective chart review of patients who received combined ipilimumab and nivolumab for metastatic melanoma at a tertiary referral centre between 2016-2019. We recorded onset and duration of abnormal biochemistry in endocrine irAEs, reviewed all available MRI images for pituitary size (mm) and appearance and 18-F FDG PET images for features of hypophysitis, thyroiditis and pancreatitis. Results: 162 patients received combination therapy. At least one irAE was recorded in 135 patients (83%), 100 (62%) required glucocorticoids, and 84 (52%) had an unplanned hospital presentation due to irAEs. Thyroiditis occurred in 50 (30.9%), with median time to onset of 30.9 days (range 1-234 days). 35 cases were identified with routine biochemistry performed every 4-6 weeks. TSH receptor antibody was measured in 13 patients and all were negative. 29 (58%) developed permanent hypothyroidism. Central cortisol deficiency was documented in 31 (19%) with a median time to diagnosis of 67.5 days (range 5-286). 4 cases were diagnosed on routine biochemistry and 14 presented with symptoms prompting investigation. 13 were diagnosed after routine neuroimaging demonstrated a pituitary abnormality, and a further 27 patients without the clinical syndrome had features of hypophysitis on neuroimaging. New onset diabetes occurred in 3 people, in which pancreatic inflammation on imaging was found in 2. A further 3/5 patients with an asymptomatic elevated lipase were found to have abnormal pancreatic imaging. In one patient with no features of endocrine or exocrine failure, there was a significant increase in FDG uptake and a subsequent loss of pancreatic volume. Conclusion: We report real world incidence of endocrine irAEs with combination immunotherapy. Routine biochemistry leads to the detection of some but not all cases. Early recognition and avoidance of unplanned presentations remains a challenge. Opportunistic assessment of endocrine gland appearance on routine imaging studies may provide useful early diagnostic information. Reference: Larkin J, Chiarion-Sileni V, Gonzalez R, Grob JJ, Cowey CL, Lao CD, et al. Combined nivolumab and ipilimumab or monotherapy in untreated melanoma. N Engl J Med. (2015) 1:23-34. 10.1056/NEJMoa1504030
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    Clinical, FDG-PET and molecular markers of immune checkpoint inhibitor response in patients with metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma
    Weppler, AM ; Pattison, A ; Bhave, P ; De Ieso, P ; Raleigh, J ; Hatzimihalis, A ; Gill, AJ ; Balachander, S ; Callahan, J ; Chua, M ; Au-Yeung, G ; McArthur, GA ; Hicks, RJ ; Tothill, RW ; Sandhu, S (BMJ PUBLISHING GROUP, 2020-01-01)
    BACKGROUND: Metastatic Merkel cell carcinoma (mMCC) is an aggressive neuroendocrine malignancy of the skin with a poor prognosis. Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have shown substantial efficacy and favorable safety in clinical trials. METHODS: Medical records of patients (pts) with mMCC treated with ICIs from August 2015 to December 2018 at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Australia were analyzed. Response was assessed with serial imaging, the majority with FDG-PET/CT scans. RNA sequencing and immunohistochemistry for PD-L1, CD3 and Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) on tumor samples was performed. RESULTS: 23 pts with mMCC were treated with ICIs. A median of 8 cycles (range 1 to 47) were administered, with treatment ongoing in 6 pts. Objective responses (OR) were observed in 14 pts (61%): 10 (44%) complete responses (CR) and 4 (17%) partial responses (PR). Median time to response was 8 weeks (range 6 to 12) and 12-month progression-free survival rate was 39%. Increased OR were seen in pts aged less than 75 (OR 80% vs 46%), no prior history of chemotherapy (OR 64% vs 50%), patients with an immune-related adverse event (OR 100% vs 43%) and in MCPyV-negative tumors (OR 69% vs 43%). Pts with a CR had lower mean metabolic tumor volume on baseline FDG-PET/CT scan (CR: 35.7 mL, no CR: 187.8 mL, p=0.05). There was no correlation between PD-L1 positivity and MCPyV status (p=0.764) or OR (p=0.245). 10 pts received radiation therapy (RT) during ICI: 4 pts started RT concurrently (OR 75%, CR 50%), 3 pts had isolated ICI-resistant lesions successfully treated with RT and 3 pts with multisite progression continued to progress despite RT. Overall, 6 pts (26%) had grade 1-2 immune-related adverse events. CONCLUSION: ICIs showed efficacy and safety in mMCC consistent with trial data. Clinical and imaging predictors of response were identified.