Immunological Correlates of Response to Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors in Metastatic Urothelial Carcinoma.
BACKGROUND: The identification of prognostic and/or predictive biomarkers for response to immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) could help guide treatment decisions. OBJECTIVE: We assessed changes in programmed cell death-1 (PD1)/PD1 ligand (PDL1) expression in key immunomodulatory cell subsets (myeloid-derived suppressor cells [MDSC]; cytotoxic T lymphocytes [CTL]) following ICI therapy and investigated whether these changes correlated with outcomes in patients with metastatic urothelial carcinoma (mUC). PATIENTS AND METHODS: Serial peripheral blood samples were collected from ICI-treated mUC patients. Flow cytometry was used to quantify PD1/PDL1 expression on MDSC (CD33+HLADR-) and CTL (CD8+CD4-) from peripheral blood mononuclear cells. MDSC were grouped into monocytic (M)-MDSC (CD14+CD15-), polymorphonuclear (PMN)-MDSC (CD14-CD15+), and immature (I)-MDSC (CD14-CD15-). Mixed-model regression and Wilcoxon signed-rank or rank-sum tests were performed to assess post-ICI changes in immune biomarker expression and identify correlations between PD1/PDL1 expression and objective response to ICI. RESULTS: Of 41 ICI-treated patients, 26 received anti-PDL1 (23 atezolizumab/3 avelumab) and 15 received anti-PD1 (pembrolizumab) therapy. Based on available data, 27.5% had prior intravesical Bacillus Calmette-Guérin therapy, 42% had prior neoadjuvant chemotherapy, and 70% had prior cystectomy or nephroureterectomy. Successive doses of anti-PDL1 correlated with decreased percentage of PDL1+ (%PDL1+) M-MDSC, while doses of anti-PD1 correlated with decreased %PD1+ M- and I-MDSC. Although pre-treatment %PD1+ CTL did not predict response, a greater %PD1+ CTL within 9 weeks after ICI initiation correlated with objective response. CONCLUSIONS: Treatment with ICI correlated with distinct changes in PD1/PDL1-expressing peripheral immune cell subsets, which may predict objective response to ICI. Further studies are required to validate immune molecular expression as a prognostic and/or predictive biomarker for long-term outcomes in mUC.
Tzeng, A; Diaz-Montero, CM; Rayman, PA; Kim, JS; Pavicic, PG; Finke, JH; Barata, PC; Lamenza, M; Devonshire, S; Schach, K; Emamekhoo, H; Ernstoff, MS; Hoimes, CJ; Rini, BI; Garcia, JA; Gilligan, TD; Ornstein, MC; Grivas, P
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