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PubMed Central Canada to be taken offline in February 2018

On February 23, 2018, PubMed Central Canada (PMC Canada) will be taken offline permanently. No author manuscripts will be deleted, and the approximately 2,900 manuscripts authored by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)-funded researchers currently in the archive will be copied to the National Research Council’s (NRC) Digital Repository over the coming months. These manuscripts along with all other content will also remain publicly searchable on PubMed Central (US) and Europe PubMed Central, meaning such manuscripts will continue to be compliant with the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications.

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1.  31st Annual Meeting and Associated Programs of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC 2016): part one 
Lundqvist, Andreas | van Hoef, Vincent | Zhang, Xiaonan | Wennerberg, Erik | Lorent, Julie | Witt, Kristina | Sanz, Laia Masvidal | Liang, Shuo | Murray, Shannon | Larsson, Ola | Kiessling, Rolf | Mao, Yumeng | Sidhom, John-William | Bessell, Catherine A. | Havel, Jonathan | Schneck, Jonathan | Chan, Timothy A. | Sachsenmeier, Eliot | Woods, David | Berglund, Anders | Ramakrishnan, Rupal | Sodre, Andressa | Weber, Jeffrey | Zappasodi, Roberta | Li, Yanyun | Qi, Jingjing | Wong, Philip | Sirard, Cynthia | Postow, Michael | Newman, Walter | Koon, Henry | Velcheti, Vamsidhar | Callahan, Margaret K. | Wolchok, Jedd D. | Merghoub, Taha | Lum, Lawrence G. | Choi, Minsig | Thakur, Archana | Deol, Abhinav | Dyson, Gregory | Shields, Anthony | Haymaker, Cara | Uemura, Marc | Murthy, Ravi | James, Marihella | Wang, Daqing | Brevard, Julie | Monaghan, Catherine | Swann, Suzanne | Geib, James | Cornfeld, Mark | Chunduru, Srinivas | Agrawal, Sudhir | Yee, Cassian | Wargo, Jennifer | Patel, Sapna P. | Amaria, Rodabe | Tawbi, Hussein | Glitza, Isabella | Woodman, Scott | Hwu, Wen-Jen | Davies, Michael A. | Hwu, Patrick | Overwijk, Willem W. | Bernatchez, Chantale | Diab, Adi | Massarelli, Erminia | Segal, Neil H. | Ribrag, Vincent | Melero, Ignacio | Gangadhar, Tara C. | Urba, Walter | Schadendorf, Dirk | Ferris, Robert L. | Houot, Roch | Morschhauser, Franck | Logan, Theodore | Luke, Jason J. | Sharfman, William | Barlesi, Fabrice | Ott, Patrick A. | Mansi, Laura | Kummar, Shivaani | Salles, Gilles | Carpio, Cecilia | Meier, Roland | Krishnan, Suba | McDonald, Dan | Maurer, Matthew | Gu, Xuemin | Neely, Jaclyn | Suryawanshi, Satyendra | Levy, Ronald | Khushalani, Nikhil | Wu, Jennifer | Zhang, Jinyu | Basher, Fahmin | Rubinstein, Mark | Bucsek, Mark | Qiao, Guanxi | MacDonald, Cameron | Hylander, Bonnie | Repasky, Elizabeth | Chatterjee, Shilpak | Daenthanasanmak, Anusara | Chakraborty, Paramita | Toth, Kyle | Meek, Megan | Garrett-Mayer, Elizabeth | Nishimura, Michael | Paulos, Chrystal | Beeson, Craig | Yu, Xuezhong | Mehrotra, Shikhar | Zhao, Fei | Evans, Kathy | Xiao, Christine | Holtzhausen, Alisha | Hanks, Brent A. | Scharping, Nicole | Menk, Ashley V. | Moreci, Rebecca | Whetstone, Ryan | Dadey, Rebekah | Watkins, Simon | Ferris, Robert | Delgoffe, Greg M. | Peled, Jonathan | Devlin, Sean | Staffas, Anna | Lumish, Melissa | Rodriguez, Kori Porosnicu | Ahr, Katya | Perales, Miguel | Giralt, Sergio | Taur, Ying | Pamer, Eric | van den Brink, Marcel R. M. | Jenq, Robert | Annels, Nicola | Pandha, Hardev | Simpson, Guy | Mostafid, Hugh | Harrington, Kevin | Melcher, Alan | Grose, Mark | Davies, Bronwyn | Au, Gough | Karpathy, Roberta | Shafren, Darren | Ricca, Jacob | Merghoub, Taha | Wolchok, Jedd D. | Zamarin, Dmitriy | Batista, Luciana | Marliot, Florence | Vasaturo, Angela | Carpentier, Sabrina | Poggionovo, Cécile | Frayssinet, Véronique | Fieschi, Jacques | Van den Eynde, Marc | Pagès, Franck | Galon, Jérôme | Hermitte, Fabienne | Smith, Sean G. | Nguyen, Khue | Ravindranathan, Sruthi | Koppolu, Bhanu | Zaharoff, David | Schvartsman, Gustavo | Bassett, Roland | McQuade, Jennifer L. | Haydu, Lauren E. | Davies, Michael A. | Tawbi, Hussein | Glitza, Isabella | Kline, Douglas | Chen, Xiufen | Fosco, Dominick | Kline, Justin | Overacre, Abigail | Chikina, Maria | Brunazzi, Erin | Shayan, Gulidanna | Horne, William | Kolls, Jay | Ferris, Robert L. | Delgoffe, Greg M. | Bruno, Tullia C. | Workman, Creg | Vignali, Dario | Adusumilli, Prasad S. | Ansa-Addo, Ephraim A | Li, Zihai | Gerry, Andrew | Sanderson, Joseph P. | Howe, Karen | Docta, Roslin | Gao, Qian | Bagg, Eleanor A. L. | Tribble, Nicholas | Maroto, Miguel | Betts, Gareth | Bath, Natalie | Melchiori, Luca | Lowther, Daniel E. | Ramachandran, Indu | Kari, Gabor | Basu, Samik | Binder-Scholl, Gwendolyn | Chagin, Karen | Pandite, Lini | Holdich, Tom | Amado, Rafael | Zhang, Hua | Glod, John | Bernstein, Donna | Jakobsen, Bent | Mackall, Crystal | Wong, Ryan | Silk, Jonathan D. | Adams, Katherine | Hamilton, Garth | Bennett, Alan D. | Brett, Sara | Jing, Junping | Quattrini, Adriano | Saini, Manoj | Wiedermann, Guy | Gerry, Andrew | Jakobsen, Bent | Binder-Scholl, Gwendolyn | Brewer, Joanna | Duong, MyLinh | Lu, An | Chang, Peter | Mahendravada, Aruna | Shinners, Nicholas | Slawin, Kevin | Spencer, David M. | Foster, Aaron E. | Bayle, J. Henri | Bergamaschi, Cristina | Ng, Sinnie Sin Man | Nagy, Bethany | Jensen, Shawn | Hu, Xintao | Alicea, Candido | Fox, Bernard | Felber, Barbara | Pavlakis, George | Chacon, Jessica | Yamamoto, Tori | Garrabrant, Thomas | Cortina, Luis | Powell, Daniel J. | Donia, Marco | Kjeldsen, Julie Westerlin | Andersen, Rikke | Westergaard, Marie Christine Wulff | Bianchi, Valentina | Legut, Mateusz | Attaf, Meriem | Dolton, Garry | Szomolay, Barbara | Ott, Sascha | Lyngaa, Rikke | Hadrup, Sine Reker | Sewell, Andrew Kelvin | Svane, Inge Marie | Fan, Aaron | Kumai, Takumi | Celis, Esteban | Frank, Ian | Stramer, Amanda | Blaskovich, Michelle A. | Wardell, Seth | Fardis, Maria | Bender, James | Lotze, Michael T. | Goff, Stephanie L. | Zacharakis, Nikolaos | Assadipour, Yasmine | Prickett, Todd D. | Gartner, Jared J. | Somerville, Robert | Black, Mary | Xu, Hui | Chinnasamy, Harshini | Kriley, Isaac | Lu, Lily | Wunderlich, John | Robbins, Paul F. | Rosenberg, Steven | Feldman, Steven A. | Trebska-McGowan, Kasia | Kriley, Isaac | Malekzadeh, Parisa | Payabyab, Eden | Sherry, Richard | Rosenberg, Steven | Goff, Stephanie L. | Gokuldass, Aishwarya | Blaskovich, Michelle A. | Kopits, Charlene | Rabinovich, Brian | Lotze, Michael T. | Green, Daniel S. | Kamenyeva, Olena | Zoon, Kathryn C. | Annunziata, Christina M. | Hammill, Joanne | Helsen, Christopher | Aarts, Craig | Bramson, Jonathan | Harada, Yui | Yonemitsu, Yoshikazu | Helsen, Christopher | Hammill, Joanne | Mwawasi, Kenneth | Denisova, Galina | Bramson, Jonathan | Giri, Rajanish | Jin, Benjamin | Campbell, Tracy | Draper, Lindsey M. | Stevanovic, Sanja | Yu, Zhiya | Weissbrich, Bianca | Restifo, Nicholas P. | Trimble, Cornelia L. | Rosenberg, Steven | Hinrichs, Christian S. | Tsang, Kwong | Fantini, Massimo | Hodge, James W. | Fujii, Rika | Fernando, Ingrid | Jochems, Caroline | Heery, Christopher | Gulley, James | Soon-Shiong, Patrick | Schlom, Jeffrey | Jing, Weiqing | Gershan, Jill | Blitzer, Grace | Weber, James | McOlash, Laura | Johnson, Bryon D. | Kiany, Simin | Gangxiong, Huang | Kleinerman, Eugenie S. | Klichinsky, Michael | Ruella, Marco | Shestova, Olga | Kenderian, Saad | Kim, Miriam | Scholler, John | June, Carl H. | Gill, Saar | Moogk, Duane | Zhong, Shi | Yu, Zhiya | Liadi, Ivan | Rittase, William | Fang, Victoria | Dougherty, Janna | Perez-Garcia, Arianne | Osman, Iman | Zhu, Cheng | Varadarajan, Navin | Restifo, Nicholas P. | Frey, Alan | Krogsgaard, Michelle | Landi, Daniel | Fousek, Kristen | Mukherjee, Malini | Shree, Ankita | Joseph, Sujith | Bielamowicz, Kevin | Byrd, Tiara | Ahmed, Nabil | Hegde, Meenakshi | Lee, Sylvia | Byrd, David | Thompson, John | Bhatia, Shailender | Tykodi, Scott | Delismon, Judy | Chu, Liz | Abdul-Alim, Siddiq | Ohanian, Arpy | DeVito, Anna Marie | Riddell, Stanley | Margolin, Kim | Magalhaes, Isabelle | Mattsson, Jonas | Uhlin, Michael | Nemoto, Satoshi | Villarroel, Patricio Pérez | Nakagawa, Ryosuke | Mule, James J. | Mailloux, Adam W. | Mata, Melinda | Nguyen, Phuong | Gerken, Claudia | DeRenzo, Christopher | Spencer, David M. | Gottschalk, Stephen | Mathieu, Mélissa | Pelletier, Sandy | Stagg, John | Turcotte, Simon | Minutolo, Nicholas | Sharma, Prannda | Tsourkas, Andrew | Powell, Daniel J. | Mockel-Tenbrinck, Nadine | Mauer, Daniela | Drechsel, Katharina | Barth, Carola | Freese, Katharina | Kolrep, Ulrike | Schult, Silke | Assenmacher, Mario | Kaiser, Andrew | Mullinax, John | Hall, MacLean | Le, Julie | Kodumudi, Krithika | Royster, Erica | Richards, Allison | Gonzalez, Ricardo | Sarnaik, Amod | Pilon-Thomas, Shari | Nielsen, Morten | Krarup-Hansen, Anders | Hovgaard, Dorrit | Petersen, Michael Mørk | Loya, Anand Chainsukh | Junker, Niels | Svane, Inge Marie | Rivas, Charlotte | Parihar, Robin | Gottschalk, Stephen | Rooney, Cliona M. | Qin, Haiying | Nguyen, Sang | Su, Paul | Burk, Chad | Duncan, Brynn | Kim, Bong-Hyun | Kohler, M. Eric | Fry, Terry | Rao, Arjun A. | Teyssier, Noam | Pfeil, Jacob | Sgourakis, Nikolaos | Salama, Sofie | Haussler, David | Richman, Sarah A. | Nunez-Cruz, Selene | Gershenson, Zack | Mourelatos, Zissimos | Barrett, David | Grupp, Stephan | Milone, Michael | Rodriguez-Garcia, Alba | Robinson, Matthew K. | Adams, Gregory P. | Powell, Daniel J. | Santos, João | Havunen, Riikka | Siurala, Mikko | Cervera-Carrascón, Víctor | Parviainen, Suvi | Antilla, Marjukka | Hemminki, Akseli | Sethuraman, Jyothi | Santiago, Laurelis | Chen, Jie Qing | Dai, Zhimin | Wardell, Seth | Bender, James | Lotze, Michael T. | Sha, Huizi | Su, Shu | Ding, Naiqing | Liu, Baorui | Stevanovic, Sanja | Pasetto, Anna | Helman, Sarah R. | Gartner, Jared J. | Prickett, Todd D. | Robbins, Paul F. | Rosenberg, Steven A. | Hinrichs, Christian S. | Bhatia, Shailender | Burgess, Melissa | Zhang, Hui | Lee, Tien | Klingemann, Hans | Soon-Shiong, Patrick | Nghiem, Paul | Kirkwood, John M. | Rossi, John M. | Sherman, Marika | Xue, Allen | Shen, Yueh-wei | Navale, Lynn | Rosenberg, Steven A. | Kochenderfer, James N. | Bot, Adrian | Veerapathran, Anandaraman | Gokuldass, Aishwarya | Stramer, Amanda | Sethuraman, Jyothi | Blaskovich, Michelle A. | Wiener, Doris | Frank, Ian | Santiago, Laurelis | Rabinovich, Brian | Fardis, Maria | Bender, James | Lotze, Michael T. | Waller, Edmund K. | Li, Jian-Ming | Petersen, Christopher | Blazar, Bruce R. | Li, Jingxia | Giver, Cynthia R. | Wang, Ziming | Grossenbacher, Steven K. | Sturgill, Ian | Canter, Robert J. | Murphy, William J. | Zhang, Congcong | Burger, Michael C. | Jennewein, Lukas | Waldmann, Anja | Mittelbronn, Michel | Tonn, Torsten | Steinbach, Joachim P. | Wels, Winfried S. | Williams, Jason B. | Zha, Yuanyuan | Gajewski, Thomas F. | Williams, LaTerrica C. | Krenciute, Giedre | Kalra, Mamta | Louis, Chrystal | Gottschalk, Stephen | Xin, Gang | Schauder, David | Jiang, Aimin | Joshi, Nikhil | Cui, Weiguo | Zeng, Xue | Menk, Ashley V. | Scharping, Nicole | Delgoffe, Greg M. | Zhao, Zeguo | Hamieh, Mohamad | Eyquem, Justin | Gunset, Gertrude | Bander, Neil | Sadelain, Michel | Askmyr, David | Abolhalaj, Milad | Lundberg, Kristina | Greiff, Lennart | Lindstedt, Malin | Angell, Helen K. | Kim, Kyoung-Mee | Kim, Seung-Tae | Kim, Sung | Sharpe, Alan D. | Ogden, Julia | Davenport, Anna | Hodgson, Darren R. | Barrett, Carl | Lee, Jeeyun | Kilgour, Elaine | Hanson, Jodi | Caspell, Richard | Karulin, Alexey | Lehmann, Paul | Ansari, Tameem | Schiller, Annemarie | Sundararaman, Srividya | Lehmann, Paul | Hanson, Jodi | Roen, Diana | Karulin, Alexey | Lehmann, Paul | Ayers, Mark | Levitan, Diane | Arreaza, Gladys | Liu, Fang | Mogg, Robin | Bang, Yung-Jue | O’Neil, Bert | Cristescu, Razvan | Friedlander, Philip | Wassman, Karl | Kyi, Chrisann | Oh, William | Bhardwaj, Nina | Bornschlegl, Svetlana | Gustafson, Michael P. | Gastineau, Dennis A. | Parney, Ian F. | Dietz, Allan B. | Carvajal-Hausdorf, Daniel | Mani, Nikita | Velcheti, Vamsidhar | Schalper, Kurt | Rimm, David | Chang, Serena | Levy, Ronald | Kurland, John | Krishnan, Suba | Ahlers, Christoph Matthias | Jure-Kunkel, Maria | Cohen, Lewis | Maecker, Holden | Kohrt, Holbrook | Chen, Shuming | Crabill, George | Pritchard, Theresa | McMiller, Tracee | Pardoll, Drew | Pan, Fan | Topalian, Suzanne | Danaher, Patrick | Warren, Sarah | Dennis, Lucas | White, Andrew M. | D’Amico, Leonard | Geller, Melissa | Disis, Mary L. | Beechem, Joseph | Odunsi, Kunle | Fling, Steven | Derakhshandeh, Roshanak | Webb, Tonya J. | Dubois, Sigrid | Conlon, Kevin | Bryant, Bonita | Hsu, Jennifer | Beltran, Nancy | Müller, Jürgen | Waldmann, Thomas | Duhen, Rebekka | Duhen, Thomas | Thompson, Lucas | Montler, Ryan | Weinberg, Andrew | Kates, Max | Early, Brandon | Yusko, Erik | Schreiber, Taylor H. | Bivalacqua, Trinity J. | Ayers, Mark | Lunceford, Jared | Nebozhyn, Michael | Murphy, Erin | Loboda, Andrey | Kaufman, David R. | Albright, Andrew | Cheng, Jonathan | Kang, S. Peter | Shankaran, Veena | Piha-Paul, Sarina A. | Yearley, Jennifer | Seiwert, Tanguy | Ribas, Antoni | McClanahan, Terrill K. | Cristescu, Razvan | Mogg, Robin | Ayers, Mark | Albright, Andrew | Murphy, Erin | Yearley, Jennifer | Sher, Xinwei | Liu, Xiao Qiao | Nebozhyn, Michael | Lunceford, Jared | Joe, Andrew | Cheng, Jonathan | Plimack, Elizabeth | Ott, Patrick A. | McClanahan, Terrill K. | Loboda, Andrey | Kaufman, David R. | Forrest-Hay, Alex | Guyre, Cheryl A. | Narumiya, Kohei | Delcommenne, Marc | Hirsch, Heather A. | Deshpande, Amit | Reeves, Jason | Shu, Jenny | Zi, Tong | Michaelson, Jennifer | Law, Debbie | Trehu, Elizabeth | Sathyanaryanan, Sriram | Hodkinson, Brendan P. | Hutnick, Natalie A. | Schaffer, Michael E. | Gormley, Michael | Hulett, Tyler | Jensen, Shawn | Ballesteros-Merino, Carmen | Dubay, Christopher | Afentoulis, Michael | Reddy, Ashok | David, Larry | Fox, Bernard | Jayant, Kumar | Agrawal, Swati | Agrawal, Rajendra | Jeyakumar, Ghayathri | Kim, Seongho | Kim, Heejin | Silski, Cynthia | Suisham, Stacey | Heath, Elisabeth | Vaishampayan, Ulka | Vandeven, Natalie | Viller, Natasja Nielsen | O’Connor, Alison | Chen, Hui | Bossen, Bolette | Sievers, Eric | Uger, Robert | Nghiem, Paul | Johnson, Lisa | Kao, Hsiang-Fong | Hsiao, Chin-Fu | Lai, Shu-Chuan | Wang, Chun-Wei | Ko, Jenq-Yuh | Lou, Pei-Jen | Lee, Tsai-Jan | Liu, Tsang-Wu | Hong, Ruey-Long | Kearney, Staci J. | Black, Joshua C. | Landis, Benjamin J. | Koegler, Sally | Hirsch, Brooke | Gianani, Roberto | Kim, Jeffrey | He, Ming-Xiao | Zhang, Bingqing | Su, Nan | Luo, Yuling | Ma, Xiao-Jun | Park, Emily | Kim, Dae Won | Copploa, Domenico | Kothari, Nishi | doo Chang, Young | Kim, Richard | Kim, Namyong | Lye, Melvin | Wan, Ee | Kim, Namyong | Lye, Melvin | Wan, Ee | Kim, Namyong | Lye, Melvin | Wan, Ee | Knaus, Hanna A. | Berglund, Sofia | Hackl, Hubert | Karp, Judith E. | Gojo, Ivana | Luznik, Leo | Hong, Henoch S. | Koch, Sven D. | Scheel, Birgit | Gnad-Vogt, Ulrike | Kallen, Karl-Josef | Wiegand, Volker | Backert, Linus | Kohlbacher, Oliver | Hoerr, Ingmar | Fotin-Mleczek, Mariola | Billingsley, James M. | Koguchi, Yoshinobu | Conrad, Valerie | Miller, William | Gonzalez, Iliana | Poplonski, Tomasz | Meeuwsen, Tanisha | Howells-Ferreira, Ana | Rattray, Rogan | Campbell, Mary | Bifulco, Carlo | Dubay, Christopher | Bahjat, Keith | Curti, Brendan | Urba, Walter | Vetsika, E-K | Kallergi, G. | Aggouraki, Despoina | Lyristi, Z. | Katsarlinos, P. | Koinis, Filippos | Georgoulias, V. | Kotsakis, Athanasios | Martin, Nathan T. | Aeffner, Famke | Kearney, Staci J. | Black, Joshua C. | Cerkovnik, Logan | Pratte, Luke | Kim, Rebecca | Hirsch, Brooke | Krueger, Joseph | Gianani, Roberto | Martínez-Usatorre, Amaia | Jandus, Camilla | Donda, Alena | Carretero-Iglesia, Laura | Speiser, Daniel E. | Zehn, Dietmar | Rufer, Nathalie | Romero, Pedro | Panda, Anshuman | Mehnert, Janice | Hirshfield, Kim M. | Riedlinger, Greg | Damare, Sherri | Saunders, Tracie | Sokol, Levi | Stein, Mark | Poplin, Elizabeth | Rodriguez-Rodriguez, Lorna | Silk, Ann | Chan, Nancy | Frankel, Melissa | Kane, Michael | Malhotra, Jyoti | Aisner, Joseph | Kaufman, Howard L. | Ali, Siraj | Ross, Jeffrey | White, Eileen | Bhanot, Gyan | Ganesan, Shridar | Monette, Anne | Bergeron, Derek | Amor, Amira Ben | Meunier, Liliane | Caron, Christine | Morou, Antigoni | Kaufmann, Daniel | Liberman, Moishe | Jurisica, Igor | Mes-Masson, Anne-Marie | Hamzaoui, Kamel | Lapointe, Rejean | Mongan, Ann | Ku, Yuan-Chieh | Tom, Warren | Sun, Yongming | Pankov, Alex | Looney, Tim | Au-Young, Janice | Hyland, Fiona | Conroy, Jeff | Morrison, Carl | Glenn, Sean | Burgher, Blake | Ji, He | Gardner, Mark | Mongan, Ann | Omilian, Angela R. | Conroy, Jeff | Bshara, Wiam | Angela, Omilian | Burgher, Blake | Ji, He | Glenn, Sean | Morrison, Carl | Mongan, Ann | Obeid, Joseph M. | Erdag, Gulsun | Smolkin, Mark E. | Deacon, Donna H. | Patterson, James W. | Chen, Lieping | Bullock, Timothy N. | Slingluff, Craig L. | Obeid, Joseph M. | Erdag, Gulsun | Deacon, Donna H. | Slingluff, Craig L. | Bullock, Timothy N. | Loffredo, John T. | Vuyyuru, Raja | Beyer, Sophie | Spires, Vanessa M. | Fox, Maxine | Ehrmann, Jon M. | Taylor, Katrina A. | Korman, Alan J. | Graziano, Robert F. | Page, David | Sanchez, Katherine | Ballesteros-Merino, Carmen | Martel, Maritza | Bifulco, Carlo | Urba, Walter | Fox, Bernard | Patel, Sapna P. | De Macedo, Mariana Petaccia | Qin, Yong | Reuben, Alex | Spencer, Christine | Guindani, Michele | Bassett, Roland | Wargo, Jennifer | Racolta, Adriana | Kelly, Brian | Jones, Tobin | Polaske, Nathan | Theiss, Noah | Robida, Mark | Meridew, Jeffrey | Habensus, Iva | Zhang, Liping | Pestic-Dragovich, Lidija | Tang, Lei | Sullivan, Ryan J. | Logan, Theodore | Khushalani, Nikhil | Margolin, Kim | Koon, Henry | Olencki, Thomas | Hutson, Thomas | Curti, Brendan | Roder, Joanna | Blackmon, Shauna | Roder, Heinrich | Stewart, John | Amin, Asim | Ernstoff, Marc S. | Clark, Joseph I. | Atkins, Michael B. | Kaufman, Howard L. | Sosman, Jeffrey | Weber, Jeffrey | McDermott, David F. | Weber, Jeffrey | Kluger, Harriet | Halaban, Ruth | Snzol, Mario | Roder, Heinrich | Roder, Joanna | Asmellash, Senait | Steingrimsson, Arni | Blackmon, Shauna | Sullivan, Ryan J. | Wang, Chichung | Roman, Kristin | Clement, Amanda | Downing, Sean | Hoyt, Clifford | Harder, Nathalie | Schmidt, Guenter | Schoenmeyer, Ralf | Brieu, Nicolas | Yigitsoy, Mehmet | Madonna, Gabriele | Botti, Gerardo | Grimaldi, Antonio | Ascierto, Paolo A. | Huss, Ralf | Athelogou, Maria | Hessel, Harald | Harder, Nathalie | Buchner, Alexander | Schmidt, Guenter | Stief, Christian | Huss, Ralf | Binnig, Gerd | Kirchner, Thomas | Sellappan, Shankar | Thyparambil, Sheeno | Schwartz, Sarit | Cecchi, Fabiola | Nguyen, Andrew | Vaske, Charles | Hembrough, Todd
Journal for Immunotherapy of Cancer  2016;4(Suppl 1):1-106.
doi:10.1186/s40425-016-0172-7
PMCID: PMC5123387
2.  Parallel profiling of immune infiltrate subsets in uveal melanoma versus cutaneous melanoma unveils similarities and differences: A pilot study 
Oncoimmunology  2017;6(6):e1321187.
ABSTRACT
The low response rates to immunotherapy in uveal melanoma (UM) sharply contrast with reputable response rates in cutaneous melanoma (CM) patients. To characterize the mechanisms responsible for resistance to immunotherapy in UM, we performed immune profiling in tumors from 10 metastatic UM patients and 10 metastatic CM patients by immunohistochemistry (IHC). Although there is no difference in infiltrating CD8+ T cells between UM and CM, a significant decrease in programmed death-1 (PD-1)-positive lymphocytes was observed and lower levels of programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) in UM metastases compared with CM metastases. Tumors from metastatic UM patients showed a lower success rate of tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) growth compared with metastatic CM (45% vs. 64% success), with a significantly lower quantity of UM TIL expanded overall. These studies suggest that UM and CM are immunologically distinct, and provide potential explanation for the impaired success of immunotherapy in UM.
doi:10.1080/2162402X.2017.1321187
PMCID: PMC5486182
Cutaneous melanoma; immune profile; tumor infiltrating lymphocytes; uveal melanoma
3.  Retrospective review of metastatic melanoma patients with leptomeningeal disease treated with intrathecal interleukin-2 
ESMO Open  2018;3(1):e000283.
Objectives
Metastatic melanoma patients with leptomeningeal disease (LMD) have an extremely poor prognosis, with a median survival measured in weeks, and few treatment options. Outcomes of a retrospective cohort of patients with LMD that were treated with intrathecal interleukin-2 (IT IL-2) were reviewed to assess the long-term efficacy of this therapy.
Methods
The records of metastatic melanoma patients with LMD who were treated with IT IL-2 from 2006 to 2014 in a Compassionate Investigational New Drug study were reviewed. IL-2 (1.2 mIU) was administered intrathecally via Ommaya reservoir up to five times per week in the inpatient setting for 4 weeks; patients with good tolerance and clinical benefit received maintenance IT IL-2 every 1–3 months thereafter.
Results
The cohort included 43 patients. The median age of the patients was 47 years (range 18–71), and 32 (74%) were male. 23 patients (53%) had positive cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) cytology and radiographic evidence of LMD, 8 (19%) had positive CSF cytology only, 9 (21%) had radiographic evidence only and 3 (7%) were diagnosed based on pathology review after craniotomy. The median overall survival (OS) from initiation of IT IL-2 was 7.8 months (range, 0.4–90.8 months), with 1-year, 2-year and 5-year OS rates of 36%, 26% and 13%. The presence of neurological symptoms (HR 2.1, P=0.03), positive baseline CSF cytology (HR 4.1, P=0.001) and concomitant use of targeted therapy (HR 3.0, P=0.02) was associated with shorter OS on univariate analysis. All patients developed symptoms due to increased intracranial pressure which was managed with supportive medications and/or CSF removal, and there were no treatment-related deaths.
Conclusion
These results demonstrate that despite their historically dismal prognosis a subset of metastatic melanoma patients with LMD treated with IT IL-2 can achieve long-term survival, but these data need to be verified in a prospective trial setting.
doi:10.1136/esmoopen-2017-000283
PMCID: PMC5786950
intrathecal therapy; interleukin-2; leptomeningeal disease; melanoma
4.  A phase I study of TPI 287 in combination with temozolomide for patients with metastatic melanoma 
Melanoma research  2016;26(6):604-608.
Objectives
TPI 287 is a synthetic taxane derivative with structural modifications allowing for central nervous system (CNS) penetration and potential circumvention of multi-drug resistance efflux pump mechanisms. The objective of this Phase I study was to determine the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of the combination of TPI 287 and temozolomide in metastatic melanoma.
Methods
Patients with stage IV unresectable or recurrent stage III melanoma were eligible. Stable untreated or treated brain metastases were allowed. Patients with prior taxane exposure were excluded. TPI 287 was given intravenously (i.v.) on Day 1, 8, and 15 and temozolomide was taken oral daily on days 1–5 of a 28-day cycle. Responses were assessed every 2 cycles per WHO criteria.
Results
A total of 21 patients were enrolled. The MTD of the combination at this schedule was determined to be 125 mg/m2 i.v. of TPI 287 and 110 mg/m2 of oral temozolomide. The dose-limiting toxicity was neuropathy and 6 patients experienced Grade III neuropathy. All patients were evaluable for tumor response. There were no complete responses; there were two partial responses and seven patients had stable disease (overall response rate 9.5% and disease control rate 42.9%). Three patients had stable disease in the brain despite progressive extracranial disease.
Conclusions
The combination of TPI 287 and temozolomide is well-tolerated in patients with metastatic melanoma with the exception of neuropathy. The CNS penetration of both agents makes this a rational combination for further testing in primary and metastatic brain lesions.
doi:10.1097/CMR.0000000000000296
PMCID: PMC5336360  PMID: 27540836
melanoma; TPI 287; temozolomide; brain metastases
5.  GNA11 Mutation in a Patient With Cutaneous Origin Melanoma 
Medicine  2016;95(4):e2336.
Abstract
The rapid advances in the molecular biology and genetics have improved the understanding of molecular pathogenesis of v-Raf murine sarcoma viral oncogene homolog B (BRAF), feline sarcoma viral oncogene v-kit (KIT), and neuroblastoma v-Ras oncogene homolog (NRAS) mutant melanomas with the subsequent development of targeted therapeutic agents. However, only limited data are available for melanoma harboring other somatic than BRAF, KIT, and NRAS mutations. Mutations in guanine nucleotide-binding protein Q polypeptide (GNAQ) and guanine nucleotide-binding protein alpha-11 (GNA11), alpha subunits of heterotrimeric G proteins, constitutively activate mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway in uveal melanoma. However, there are no reports of GNA11 mutations in cutaneous melanomas.
A 48-year-old woman was diagnosed with cutaneous nodular melanoma on the left scalp. Mutation analysis of the tumor revealed a GNA11 Q209L mutation. There was no evidence of uveal melanoma or malignant blue nevus in ophthalmologic exam, imaging studies, and pathology review.
To our knowledge, this is the first case report to demonstrate cutaneous origin melanoma harboring a GNA11 Q209L mutation.
doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000002336
PMCID: PMC5291549  PMID: 26825879
6.  Comparative analysis of the GNAQ, GNA11, SF3B1, and EIF1AX driver mutations in melanoma and across the cancer spectrum 
Pigment cell & melanoma research  2016;29(4):470-473.
Uveal melanoma is characterized by recurrent mutations in GNAQ, GNA11, SF3B1, and EIF1AX, as well as a low total mutational burden. The frequency and clinical significance of these mutations in non-uveal melanoma and other cancers is not well described. We identified that GNAQ/GNA11 mutations occur in 0.5–1% of non-uveal melanomas and are essentially melanoma-specific. Further, these mutations are associated with a lack of other typical melanoma mutations (BRAF, NRAS, KIT, NF1), a low mutational burden, and, in a small subset, lack of response to immunotherapy. We suggest that GNAQ/GNA11 mutations characterize an uncommon but distinct subtype of non-uveal melanomas.
doi:10.1111/pcmr.12482
PMCID: PMC5678944  PMID: 27089234
GNAQ; GNA11; SF3B1; EIF1AX; uveal; melanoma; mutation; cutaneous
7.  Genomic and immune heterogeneity are associated with differential responses to therapy in melanoma 
NPJ genomic medicine  2017;2:10.
Appreciation for genomic and immune heterogeneity in cancer has grown though the relationship of these factors to treatment response has not been thoroughly elucidated. To better understand this, we studied a large cohort of melanoma patients treated with targeted therapy or immune checkpoint blockade (n = 60). Heterogeneity in therapeutic responses via radiologic assessment was observed in the majority of patients. Synchronous melanoma metastases were analyzed via deep genomic and immune profiling, and revealed substantial genomic and immune heterogeneity in all patients studied, with considerable diversity in T cell frequency, and few shared T cell clones (<8% on average) across the cohort. Variables related to treatment response were identified via these approaches and through novel radiomic assessment. These data yield insight into differential therapeutic responses to targeted therapy and immune checkpoint blockade in melanoma, and have key translational implications in the age of precision medicine.
doi:10.1038/s41525-017-0013-8
PMCID: PMC5557036
8.  Genomic and immune heterogeneity are associated with differential responses to therapy in melanoma 
NPJ Genomic Medicine  2017;2:10.
Appreciation for genomic and immune heterogeneity in cancer has grown though the relationship of these factors to treatment response has not been thoroughly elucidated. To better understand this, we studied a large cohort of melanoma patients treated with targeted therapy or immune checkpoint blockade (n = 60). Heterogeneity in therapeutic responses via radiologic assessment was observed in the majority of patients. Synchronous melanoma metastases were analyzed via deep genomic and immune profiling, and revealed substantial genomic and immune heterogeneity in all patients studied, with considerable diversity in T cell frequency, and few shared T cell clones (<8% on average) across the cohort. Variables related to treatment response were identified via these approaches and through novel radiomic assessment. These data yield insight into differential therapeutic responses to targeted therapy and immune checkpoint blockade in melanoma, and have key translational implications in the age of precision medicine.
Melanoma: Tumor differences within a patient may explain heterogeneous responses
Patients with metastatic melanoma display molecular and immune differences across tumor sites associated with differential drug responses. A team led by Jennifer Wargo from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, USA, studied the radiological responses of 60 patients with metastatic melanoma, half of whom received targeted drug therapy and half of whom received an immune checkpoint inhibitor. The majority (83%) showed differences in responses across metastases. The group then profiled tumors in a subset, and found molecular and immune heterogeneity in different tumors within the same patient. Heterogeneity in mutational and immune profiles within tumors from individual patients could explain differences in treatment response. Knowing this, the authors emphasize the importance of acquiring biopsies from more than one tumor site in order to best tailor therapies to the features of metastatic cancer.
doi:10.1038/s41525-017-0013-8
PMCID: PMC5557036  PMID: 28819565
9.  Intrathecal administration of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes is well tolerated in a patient with leptomeningeal disease from metastatic melanoma: A case report 
Cancer immunology research  2015;3(11):1201-1206.
Patients with leptomeningeal disease (LMD) from melanoma have very poor outcomes and few treatment options. We present a case of intrathecal (IT) administration of autologous tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) in a patient with LMD from metastatic melanoma. The patient developed LMD after previous treatments with surgery, high-dose bolus interleukin-2 (HD IL-2), and systemic TIL infusion and experienced radiographic progression after intrathecal IL2 (IT IL-2) therapy. The patient received weekly treatment with increasing numbers of IT TIL followed by twice-weekly IT IL-2. The patient received three IT TIL infusions and did not experience any toxicities beyond those expected with IT IL-2 therapy. Analysis of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) demonstrated increased inflammatory cytokines following the intrathecal treatments. Subsequent imaging demonstrated disease stabilization, and neurological deficits also remained stable. The patient expired five months after the initiation of IT TIL therapy with disease progression in the brain, liver, lung, and peritoneal and retroperitoneal lymph nodes, but without LMD progression. These results demonstrate the safety of intrathecal administration of TIL in melanoma patients with LMD and support the feasibility of conducting a prospective clinical trial to determine this therapy's clinical benefit among these patients.
doi:10.1158/2326-6066.CIR-15-0071
PMCID: PMC4861225  PMID: 26216417
10.  Clinical, molecular and immune analysis of dabrafenib and trametinib in metastatic melanoma patients that progressed on BRAF inhibitor monotherapy: a phase II clinical trial 
JAMA oncology  2016;2(8):1056-1064.
Importance
Combined treatment with dabrafenib and trametinib (CombiDT) achieves clinical responses in only ~15% of BRAF inhibitor (BRAFi)-refractory metastatic melanoma patients, in contrast to the high activity observed in BRAFi-naïve patients. Identifying correlates of response and mechanisms of resistance in this population will facilitate clinical management and rational therapeutic development.
Objective
To determine correlates of benefit from CombiDT therapy in BRAFi-refractory metastatic melanoma patients.
Design
Single-center, single-arm prospective phase II study of CombiDT in patients with BRAFV600 metastatic melanoma resistant to BRAFi monotherapy conducted between September 2012 and October 2014.
Setting
University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
Participants
28 patients were screened and 23 enrolled. Key eligibility criteria included: BRAFV600 metastatic melanoma, prior BRAFi monotherapy, measurable disease (RECIST 1.1), and accessible tumor for biopsy.
Intervention
Patients were treated with dabrafenib (150 mg twice daily) and trametinib (2 mg daily) continuously until disease progression or intolerance. All participants underwent a mandatory baseline biopsy, and optional biopsies were performed on-treatment and at progression. Whole-exome sequencing, RT-PCR for BRAF splicing, RNAseq and IHC were performed on tumor samples, and blood was analyzed for levels of circulating BRAFV600.
Main outcome measures
Primary endpoint was overall response rate (ORR). Progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were secondary clinical endpoints.
Results
Among evaluable patients, the confirmed ORR was 10%, disease control rate (DCR) was 45%, and median PFS was 13 weeks. Clinical benefit was associated with duration of prior BRAFi >6 months (DCR 73% vs. 11% for ≤6 months, p=0.02) and decrease in circulating BRAFV600 at day 8 of cycle 1 (DCR 75% vs. 18% for no decrease, p=0.015), but not by pre-treatment MAPK pathway mutations or activation. On-treatment biopsies demonstrated that CombiDT failed to achieve significant MAPK pathway inhibition or immune infiltration in most patients.
Conclusions and relevance
The baseline presence of MAPK pathway alterations was not associated with benefit from CombiDT in BRAFi-refractory metastatic melanoma patients. Failure to inhibit the MAPK pathway provides a likely explanation for the limited clinical benefit of CombiDT in this setting. Circulating BRAF V600 is a promising early biomarker of clinical response.
doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2016.0509
PMCID: PMC4982774  PMID: 27124486
11.  A retrospective analysis of High-Dose Interleukin-2 (HD IL-2) following Ipilimumab in metastatic melanoma 
Background
High dose interleukin-2 (HD IL-2) can induce durable responses in a subset of patients leading to long-term survival. Immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) has demonstrated similarly durable responses in a larger proportion of patients. However, not all patients respond to immune checkpoint blockade and subsequent therapeutic options need to be explored.
Methods
The PROCLAIM database was queried for patients with metastatic melanoma who had received HD IL-2 after treatment with ipilimumab or without prior ICB. Patient characteristics, toxicity and efficacy were analyzed.
Results
A total of 52 metastatic melanoma patients were treated with high dose IL-2 after ipilimumab and 276 patients were treated with high dose IL-2 without prior ICB. The overall response rate in the prior ipilimumab group was 21 % as compared to 12 % in the group that had not received prior ipilimumab. The median overall survival, measured from the initiation of HD IL-2 therapy, was 19.3 months in the prior ipilimumab group and 19.4 months in the no prior ICB group. Toxicities observed on HD IL-2 were relatively equivalent between the groups although there were cases of CTLA4 antibody-induced colitis reported after HD IL-2 treatment and a CTLA4 antibody-induced colitis related death.
Conclusion
In this retrospective analysis HD IL-2 therapy displayed antitumor activity in melanoma patients who progressed following treatment with ipilimumab. Most HD IL-2 toxicity was not worsened by prior ipilimumab therapy except for one treatment related death from colitis. Care should be taken to avoid reactivation of CTLA4 antibody-induced colitis.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s40425-016-0155-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s40425-016-0155-8
PMCID: PMC5028986  PMID: 27660706
Melanoma; Interleukin-2; Immune Checkpoint blockade; Ipilimumab
12.  Distinct clinical patterns and immune infiltrates are observed at time of progression on targeted therapy versus immune checkpoint blockade for melanoma 
Oncoimmunology  2016;5(3):e1136044.
ABSTRACT
We have made major advances in the treatment of melanoma through the use of targeted therapy and immune checkpoint blockade; however, clinicians are posed with therapeutic dilemmas regarding timing and sequence of therapy. There is a growing appreciation of the impact of antitumor immune responses to these therapies, and we performed studies to test the hypothesis that clinical patterns and immune infiltrates differ at progression on these treatments. We observed rapid clinical progression kinetics in patients on targeted therapy compared to immune checkpoint blockade. To gain insight into possible immune mechanisms behind these differences, we performed deep immune profiling in tumors of patients on therapy. We demonstrated low CD8+ T-cell infiltrate on targeted therapy and high CD8+ T-cell infiltrate on immune checkpoint blockade at clinical progression. These data have important implications, and suggest that antitumor immune responses should be assessed when considering therapeutic options for patients with melanoma.
doi:10.1080/2162402X.2015.1136044
PMCID: PMC4839346  PMID: 27141370
Immune checkpoint blockade; melanoma; targeted therapy; BRAF; CTLA-4; PD-1
13.  BRAF mutation testing with a rapid, fully integrated molecular diagnostics system 
Oncotarget  2015;6(29):26886-26894.
Fast and accurate diagnostic systems are needed for further implementation of precision therapy of BRAF-mutant and other cancers. The novel IdyllaTM BRAF Mutation Test has high sensitivity and shorter turnaround times compared to other methods. We used Idylla to detect BRAF V600 mutations in archived formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tumor samples and compared these results with those obtained using the cobas 4800 BRAF V600 Mutation Test or MiSeq deep sequencing system and with those obtained by a Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA)-certified laboratory employing polymerase chain reaction–based sequencing, mass spectrometric detection, or next-generation sequencing. In one set of 60 FFPE tumor samples (15 with BRAF mutations per Idylla), the Idylla and cobas results had an agreement of 97%. Idylla detected BRAF V600 mutations in two additional samples. The Idylla and MiSeq results had 100% concordance. In a separate set of 100 FFPE tumor samples (64 with BRAF mutation per Idylla), the Idylla and CLIA-certified laboratory results demonstrated an agreement of 96% even though the tests were not performed simultaneously and different FFPE blocks had to be used for 9 cases. The IdyllaTM BRAF Mutation Test produced results quickly (sample to results time was about 90 minutes with about 2 minutes of hands on time) and the closed nature of the cartridge eliminates the risk of PCR contamination. In conclusion, our observations demonstrate that the Idylla test is rapid and has high concordance with other routinely used but more complex BRAF mutation–detecting tests.
PMCID: PMC4694960  PMID: 26330075
BRAF; rapid; integrated; qPCR
14.  Delayed systemic recurrence of uveal melanoma 
Context
Metastatic uveal melanoma recurrence after 10 years or more is not well studied in the clinical literature. This study describes the clinical characteristics and natural history of patients with delayed tumor recurrence.
Objective
To describe the characteristics of patients with delayed systemic recurrence of uveal melanoma and the natural history of the disease after recurrence.
Evidence Acquisition
This is a chart review of patients treated between 1994 and 2008 at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center for uveal melanoma whose disease recurred 10 or more years after treatment of the primary tumor.
Results
Of 463 patients treated for metastatic uveal melanoma, 305 developed systemic recurrence within 5 years from the time of diagnosis of primary melanoma, 97 developed systemic recurrences between 5 and 10 years, while 61 patients developed metastasis 10 years or more. The interval between primary to first systemic metastasis was a significant independent predictor of survival time from first systemic metastasis. The median survival time for patients with delayed metastatic recurrence after ten years or more was significantly longer than for patients who had intermediate or early systemic recurrence. Levels of lactate dehydrogenase, serum alkaline phosphatase, serum albumin, age, M-Stage and performance status at time of recurrence, as well as gender were also independent predictors of survival time from systemic recurrence.
Conclusion
Longer time interval between primary and first systemic metastasis is significantly correlated with prolonged survival. Patients who survive 10 years or more without tumor metastasis after treatment for primary uveal melanoma cannot be considered cured. Prognosis remains poor for patients with metastatic uveal melanoma.
doi:10.1097/COC.0b013e3182546a6b
PMCID: PMC4574291  PMID: 22706174
15.  Beyond BRAFV600: clinical mutation panel testing by next-generation sequencing in advanced melanoma 
The management of melanoma has evolved due to improved understanding of its molecular drivers. To augment the current understanding of the prevalence, patterns, and associations of mutations in this disease, the results of clinical testing of 699 advanced melanoma patients using a pan-cancer next generation sequencing (NGS) panel of hotspot regions in 46 genes were reviewed. Mutations were identified in 43 of the 46 genes on the panel. The most common mutations were BRAFV600 (36%), NRAS (21%), TP53 (16%), BRAFNon-V600 (6%), and KIT (4%). Approximately one-third of melanomas had >1 mutation detected, and the number of mutations per tumor was associated with melanoma subtype. Concurrent TP53 mutations were the most frequent event in tumors with BRAFV600 and NRAS mutations. Melanomas with BRAFNon-V600 mutations frequently harbored concurrent NRAS mutations (18%), which were rare in tumors with BRAFV600 mutations (1.6%). The prevalence of BRAFV600 and KIT mutations were significantly associated with melanoma subtypes, and BRAFV600 and TP53 mutations were significantly associated with cutaneous primary tumor location. Multiple potential therapeutic targets were identified in metastatic unknown primary and cutaneous melanomas that lacked BRAFV600 and NRAS mutations. These results enrich our understanding of the patterns and clinical associations of oncogenic mutations in melanoma.
doi:10.1038/jid.2014.366
PMCID: PMC4289407  PMID: 25148578
melanoma; sequencing; mutation; BRAF; NRAS; TP53
16.  Phase I trial of biochemotherapy with cisplatin, temozolomide, and dose escalation of nab-paclitaxel combined with interleukin-2 and interferon-α in patients with metastatic melanoma 
Melanoma research  2014;24(4):342-348.
The primary objective of this study was to determine the safety, toxicity, and maximum tolerated dose of nanoparticle albumin-bound (nab)-paclitaxel as part of biochemotherapy for metastatic melanoma and to determine whether substituting nab-paclitaxel for less potent agents could increase response rates and duration. Treatment consisted of intravenous cisplatin (20 mg/m2) on days 1–4, oral temozolomide (250 mg/m2) on days 1–3, subcutaneous interferon-α (5 × 106 IU/m2) on days 1–5, and continuous intravenous interleukin-2 (9 × 106 IU/m2) for 96 h on days 1–4. A standard 3 + 3 dose escalation method was used; the nab-paclitaxel starting dose was 100 mg/m2 on day 1 and 70 mg/m2 on day 5. The treatment cycle was repeated every 3 weeks and toxicity was assessed weekly. Ten patients were enrolled. Dose-limiting toxicities included diarrhea, transaminasemia, and neutropenia. The maximum tolerated dose was not identified because the nab-paclitaxel dose on day 1 at the lowest planned dose (80 mg/m2) caused dose-limiting toxicity in two of five patients. Of the nine patients who were evaluable for response, five had a partial response. The median time to disease progression was 5.30 months and the median overall survival was 8.73 months.
Six patients developed central nervous system metastasis at a median of 5.33 months after treatment initiation. Biochemotherapy including nab-paclitaxel according to the doses and schedule regimen used in the present study has significant toxicity. Substituting dacarbazine with temozolomide did not prevent central nervous system metastasis in patients with metastatic melanoma.
doi:10.1097/CMR.0000000000000062
PMCID: PMC4278368  PMID: 24743052
biochemotherapy; brain metastasis; melanoma; nab-paclitaxel; temozolomide
17.  Profile of selumetinib and its potential in the treatment of melanoma 
OncoTargets and therapy  2014;7:1631-1639.
The mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway is a critical oncogenic driver signal in a number of malignancies. The discovery of activating mutations in the MAPK pathway has led to the development of MAPK pathway inhibitors. Selumetinib is a potent and selective inhibitor of MEK1 and MEK2, which are essential downstream molecules in the MAPK pathway. Several preclinical and clinical studies have demonstrated the promising antitumor activity of selumetinib. In this review, we discuss the MAPK pathway in melanoma and summarized data from preclinical and clinical studies of selumetinib for advanced melanoma.
doi:10.2147/OTT.S51596
PMCID: PMC4179759  PMID: 25278770
selumetinib; MEK inhibitor; melanoma; uveal melanoma
18.  Chemical Castration of melanoma patients does not increase the frequency of tumor-specific CD4 and CD8 T cells after peptide vaccination 
Peptide vaccination against tumor associated antigens (TAA) remains one of the most common methods of immunization in cancer vaccine clinical trials. While peptide vaccination has been reported to increase circulating antigen-specific T-cells, they have had limited clinical efficacy and there is a necessity to increase their capacity to generate strong anti-tumor responses. We sought to improve the clinical efficacy of peptide-based vaccines in cancer immunotherapy of metastatic melanoma using a LHRH-agonist (Leuprolide) as adjuvant. Seventy HLA-A*0201+ Stage IIb-IV melanoma patients were vaccinated with class I HLA-A*0201-restricted gp100209-2M peptide and stratified for HLA-DP4 restriction. HLA-DP4+ patients were also vaccinated with class II HLA-DP4-restricted MAGE-3243-258 peptide. Patients from both groups were randomized to receive 2 doses of Leuprolide or not. Here we report the increase in PBMC TREC levels at week 24 after peptide vaccination which was independent of the Leuprolide treatment. This change was mirrored by a small increase in the TREC-enriched CD8+CD45RA+RO−CD27+CD103+, but not the TREC-enriched CD4+CD45RA+RO−CD31+ T cell population. Serum concentration of two important factors for thymopoiesis was measured: IGF-1 levels were not changed, while a moderate increase in IL-7 levels was noted in the sera of all patients 6 weeks after vaccination. Increased expression of CD127 (IL-7 receptor alpha) at week 24, compared to baseline, was only seen in the CD8+CD45RA+RO−CD27+CD103+ T cell population. Our results suggest that Leuprolide has no effect on thymic output when used as peptide vaccine adjuvant, but IFA-based peptide vaccination may unexpectedly affect the thymus by increasing thymic output of new T cells.
doi:10.1097/CJI.0b013e31829419f3
PMCID: PMC3799876  PMID: 23603862
LHRH-agonist; melanoma; peptide-vaccination; TREC; IL-7
19.  BRAF, NRAS, AND KIT SEQUENCING ANALYSIS OF SPINDLE CELL MELANOMA 
Journal of cutaneous pathology  2012;39(9):10.1111/j.1600-0560.2012.01950.x.
Background
Spindle cell melanoma represents a rare but distinct subset of melanoma, and its genomic spectrum has not been fully defined.
Methods
We searched our institutional database for patients with a diagnosis of pure spindle cell-type melanoma whose tumors had been analyzed for BRAF, NRAS, and KIT mutations using pyrosequencing technique.
Results
We identified 24 patients with spindle cell melanoma, including 10 patients with desmoplastic melanoma, whose tumors had been analyzed for at least one of the three genes. The median Breslow thickness was 2.6 mm, and the most common site of the primary melanoma was the trunk, followed by the head and neck region. BRAF, NRAS, and KIT genomic sequencing was performed successfully in 20, 18, and 14 patients, respectively. Among the 20 melanomas with completed BRAF sequencing analysis, 6 (30%) harbored a mutation, of which 5 (83%) had a V600E mutation and 1 (17%) had a V600R mutation. None of the melanomas harbored NRAS or KIT mutations.
Conclusion
As has been reported in other common types of melanoma, V600 BRAF mutation is the most common mutation of those tested in spindle cell melanoma. NRAS or KIT mutation appears to be rare, if not completely absent.
doi:10.1111/j.1600-0560.2012.01950.x
PMCID: PMC3881367  PMID: 22809251
spindle cell; melanoma; BRAF; NRAS; KIT
20.  A Phase II Study of Gefitinib in Patients with Metastatic Melanoma 
Melanoma research  2011;21(4):357-363.
Background
Gefitinib is an inhibitor of the epidermal growth factor receptor, which is frequently expressed on both choroidal and non-choroidal melanoma cells. We evaluated the clinical efficacy of gefitinib in patients with metastatic melanoma.
Methods
Patients with stage IV or unresectable stage III melanoma and Zubrod performance status ≤2 were eligible. Previous systemic treatment for metastatic disease was required. The dose of oral gefitinib was 250 mg administered daily, and tumor response was evaluated every 6 weeks.
Findings
Forty-six patients with non-choroidal melanoma and six with choroidal melanoma were treated, and 48 were evaluable for response. The median age was 62.5 years. Forty-one patients (79%) had stage M1c disease. There were no drug-related grade 4 or 5 adverse events, and fatigue was the only grade 3 adverse event that occurred in more than 5% of patients. Two patients (4%) had partial responses and 13 patients (27%) had disease stabilization. The two responders had a median duration of response of 10.9 months. The median progression-free survival overall was 1.4 months and the median overall survival was 9.7 months. Among the patients with sufficient tissues obtained before and 6 weeks after starting gefitinib, there were no notable trends in the changes of the tumoral expression of p-ERK1/2, p-AKT, PAK1 and serum levels of VEGF or IL-8 with treatment.
Interpretation
Gefitinib was well tolerated but had minimal clinical efficacy as a single-agent therapy for unselected patients with metastatic melanoma.
doi:10.1097/CMR.0b013e3283471073
PMCID: PMC3132394  PMID: 21738104
phase II; gefitinib; metastatic melanoma; EGFR
21.  Profile of ipilimumab and its role in the treatment of metastatic melanoma 
Melanoma is an immunogenic cancer. However, the ability of the immune system to eradicate melanoma tumors is affected by intrinsic negative regulatory mechanisms. Multiple immune-modulatory therapies are currently being developed to optimize the immune response to melanoma tumors. Two recent Phase III studies using the monoclonal antibody ipilimumab, which targets the cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen (CTLA-4), a negative regulator of T-cell activation, have demonstrated improvement in overall survival of metastatic melanoma patients. This review highlights the clinical trial data that supports the efficacy of ipilimumab, the immune-related response criteria used to evaluate clinical response, and side-effect profile associated with ipilimumab treatment.
doi:10.2147/DDDT.S10945
PMCID: PMC3257959  PMID: 22267918
ipilimumab; melanoma; T-cells; CTLA-4

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