Targeting the IL-2 inducible kinase in melanoma; a phase 2 study of ibrutinib in systemic treatment-refractory distant metastatic cutaneous melanoma: preclinical rationale, biology, and clinical activity (NCI9922).

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: IL-2 inducible kinase (ITK) is highly expressed in metastatic melanomas and its inhibition suppresses melanoma cell proliferation. We hypothesize that ibrutinib has a direct antitumor effect in melanoma cell lines and that treatment of metastatic melanomas with ibrutinib induces antitumor responses. METHODS: We assessed the ibrutinib effect on melanoma cell proliferation, apoptosis, and motility. Patients with metastatic melanoma refractory to PD-1 and MAPK inhibitors (if BRAFV600-mutant) were treated with ibrutinib, 840 mg PO QD, as part of a phase II clinical trial ( NCT02581930). RESULTS: Melanoma cell lines frequently express ITK, YES1, and EGFR. Ibrutinib suppressed cell motility and proliferation in most cell lines. Eighteen patients (13 male; median age 63.5 years, range 37-82; 12 with ipilimumab resistance) were enrolled. The most frequent side effects were fatigue (61%), anorexia (50%), hyponatremia (28%), nausea, and vomiting (22% each). No antitumor responses were seen. At a median follow-up of 6 months (0.3-35.8 months), the median progression-free survival was 1.3 months (range 0.2-5.5 months). Fifteen patients were discontinued from the study due to progression, and 14 patients had died from metastatic melanoma. All archived tumors expressed ITK, 41% had no expression of p16 and PTEN, and 61% had absent tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs). Ibrutinib significantly suppressed proliferating (Ki67+) CD19+ peripheral blood mononuclear cells and had no significant effect on other lymphocyte subsets. CONCLUSION: Ibrutinib did not induce any meaningful clinical benefit. ITK expression may not be clinically relevant. Treatment-refractory metastatic melanomas have other fundamental defects (i.e. absent PTEN and p16 expression, absent TILs) that may contribute to an adverse prognosis.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Moschos, SJ; Eroglu, Z; Khushalani, NI; Kendra, KL; Ansstas, G; In, GK; Wang, P; Liu, G; Collichio, FA; Googe, PB; Carson, CC; McKinnon, K; Wang, H-H; Nikolaishvilli-Feinberg, N; Ivanova, A; Arrowood, CC; Garrett-Mead, N; Conway, KC; Edmiston, SN; Ollila, DW; Serody, JS; Thomas, NE; Ivy, SP; Agrawal, L; Dees, EC; Abbruzzese, JL

Published Date

  • April 1, 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 31 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 162 - 172

PubMed ID

  • 33661190

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8025369

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1473-5636

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/CMR.0000000000000726


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England