The Adaptively Dosed ImmunoTherapy Trial (ADAPT-IT;NCT03122522) investigated adaptive ipilimumab discontinuation in melanoma based on early radiographic assessment. Initial findings indicated similar effectiveness compared with conventional nivolumab-ipilimumab (nivo-ipi). Exploratory biomarker analyses and final clinical results are now reported.

Patients and Methods:

Patients with unresectable melanoma received two doses of nivo-ipi. Radiographic assessment at Week 6 informed continuation of ipilimumab before nivolumab maintenance. The primary endpoint was overall response rate at Week 12. Plasma was assayed for circulating tumor DNA and 10 cytokines using a multiplex immunoassay. Flow cytometry of peripheral blood mononuclear cells was performed with an 11-color panel.


Among the treated patients, expansion of proliferating T-cell populations was observed in responders and nonresponders. Baseline IL6 levels were low in patients achieving an objective radiographic response (median 1.30 vs. 2.86 pg/mL; P = 0.025). High baseline IL6 levels were associated with short progression-free survival [PFS; HR = 1.24, 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.01–1.52; P = 0.041]. At Week 6, patients with response had lower average tumor variant allele fractions than nonresponders (median 0.000 vs. 0.019; P = 0.014). Greater increases in average variant allele fractions from baseline to Week 6 correlated with short PFS (HR = 1.11, 95% CI, 1.01–1.21; P = 0.023). Week 12 overall response rate was 47% (95% CI, 35%–59%) with a median follow-up of 34 months among survivors. Median PFS was 21 months (95% CI, 10–not reached); 76% of responses (95% CI, 64%–91%) persisted at 36 months.


Adaptively dosed nivo-ipi responses are durable and resemble historical data for conventional nivo-ipi. Baseline IL6 and circulating tumor DNA changes during treatment warrant further study as biomarkers of nivo-ipi response.

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