Purpose: Drug repurposing offers the opportunity for chemotherapy to be used to re-establish sensitivity to immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) therapy. Here we investigated the clinical and translational aspects of an early phase II study of azacitidine and carboplatin priming for anti-PDL1 immunotherapy (Avelumab) in patients with advanced ICB-resistant melanoma. Patients and Methods:20 participants with ICB resistant metastatic melanoma received 2 x 4-week cycles of azacitidine and carboplatin followed by ICB re-challenge with anti-PD-L1 avelumab. The primary objective was overall response rate after priming and ICB re-challenge. Secondary objectives were Clinical benefit rate (CBR), progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). Translational correlation analysis of HLA-A and PD-L1 expression, RNA-seq and reduced representation bisulfite sequencing (RRBS) of biopsies at baseline, after priming and after 6 cycles of avelmuab was performed. Results:20 participants with ICB resistant metastatic melanoma received 2 x 4-week cycles of azacitidine and carboplatin followed by ICB re-challenge with anti-PD-L1 avelumab. The primary objective was overall response rate after priming and ICB re-challenge. Secondary objectives were Clinical benefit rate (CBR), progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). Translational correlation analysis of HLA-A and PD-L1 expression, RNA-seq and reduced representation bisulfite sequencing (RRBS) of biopsies at baseline, after priming and after 6 cycles of avelmuab was performed. Conclusions:Priming with azacitidine and carboplatin can induce disease stabilization and re-sensitisation to ICB for metastatic melanoma.

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