Background: The success of and the durability of immune therapy of cancer is thought to depend on the activation and expansion of tumor reactive and infiltrating CD8+ T cells. The response to immune checkpoint blockade, depends on a pre-existing, CD8 T cell-rich tumor microenvironment. IL-10 stimulates the antigen mediated cytotoxicity, survival and proliferation of intra-tumoral CD8+ T cells and simultaneously dampens chronic inflammation. T cell receptor mediated activation of CD8 T cells induces the expression of IL-10 receptors on these cells. IL-10 activates with STAT3 an essential survival and proliferation signal in antigen activated CD8 T cells. This also provides a mechanistic rationale for combining AM0010 and anti-PD1 in the clinic. To evaluate the clinical activity, tolerability and anti-tumor activity of AM0010 alone or in combination with chemotherapy or immune checkpoint inhibitors a multi-basket phase 1 study was conducted. Additional disease specific expansion cohorts for the combination of AM0010 with FOLFOX in pancreatic cancer or with nivolumab in RCC or NSCLC are currently evaluated
Results: Tolerability and anti-tumor activity of AM0010 alone or in combination with chemotherapy or immune checkpoint inhibitors was established in this multi-basket phase 1 study. In monotherapy, objective responses were observed in pts with uveal melanoma, cutaneous T cell lymphoma and in 4 of 15 pts with RCC. Patients with advanced melanoma, RCC or NSCLC were also treated with AM0010 (daily SC) in combination with anti-PD-1 immune checkpoint blockade. Tumor responses were monitored following irRC. Immune responses were measured by analysis of serum cytokines, activation of blood derived T cells, peripheral T cell clonality and immunohistochemistry of tumor infiltrating CD8 T cells. In 19 pts, AMO010 10 μg/kg (n = 13) or 20 μg/kg (n = 6) in combination with anti-PD1 - pembrolizumab (2mg/kg) was well tolerated (observation period 10-15 months). Immune related TrAE occured in the frequency and severity as expected from pembrolizumab montherapy. The combination of AM0010 with pembrolizumab achieved objective responses (PR/CR) in 4 of 8 RCC pts, 2 of 5 NSCLC pts and 2 of 6 melanoma pts. 2 additional melanoma pts had tumor increase followed by decrease (pseudoprogression). Independent of the combination with either chemotherapy or anti-PD-1, AM0010 increased Th1 cytokines (IL-18, IFNγ, IL-7) in a dose dependent fashion. FasL and lymphotoxin beta - products of cytotoxic T cells - were also increased in the serum of AM0010 treated patients. In contrast, mediators of chronic inflammation, such as IL-23 and IL-17 and the immune suppressive cytokine TGFbeta were reduced in the serum of patients. AM0010 increased the number and proliferation of PD1+ activated CD8 T cells while decreasing the proliferation of FoxP3+ Tregs and TGFβ in the blood. AM0010 induced de-novo oligoclonal expansion of T cell clones in the blood of patients without affecting total lymphocyte counts. This clonal expansion appeared enhanced and accelerated in patients treated with a AM0010 anti PD-1 combination, but was also seen in patients which received a AM0010 - chemotherapy combination. AM0010 also increased the number of tumor infiltrating Phospho-STAT3+ CD8 T cells in tumors and the number of Granzyme+ PD1+ CD8+ T cells in tumor biopsies of treated patients.
Conclusion: AM0010 alone or in combination with anti-PD1 is well-tolerated. The clinical activity and the observed CD8 T cell activation encourages the phase 2/3 studies of AM0010 in combination with anti-PD1 planned for later in 2016. Trial registration: www.clinicaltrials.gov NCT02009449.
Citation Format: Aung Naing, Jeffrey R. Infante, Kyriakos P. Papadopoulos, Deborah J. Wong, Karen A. Autio, Gerald S. Falchook, Manish Patel, Shubham Pant, Amita Patnaik, Melinda Whiteside, Johanna C. Bendell, John Mumm, Ivan H. Chan, Gail L. Brown, Peter VanVlasselaer, J. R. Hecht, David S. Hong, Nizar M. Tannir, Martin Oft. Antitumor activity and immune correlates of PEGylated human IL-10 (AM0010) alone or in combination with anti-PD-1 [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the Second CRI-CIMT-EATI-AACR International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference: Translating Science into Survival; 2016 Sept 25-28; New York, NY. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Immunol Res 2016;4(11 Suppl):Abstract nr PR08.