Adoptive tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) therapy and interleukin-2 (IL-2) have been investigated in melanoma.
To confirm previously observed preventive effects of TIL + IL2 in a subgroup of patients with relapsing metastatic stage III melanoma.
Open-label, randomized two-group, multicenter five-year trial in adult stage III melanoma patients with only one invaded lymph node after complete resection. Patients received TIL + IL2 or abstention. TIL + IL2 was administered within 8 weeks after lymph node resection and 4 weeks after. Disease-free survival was assessed every 2 months up to month 18, every 3 months up to month 36 and every 4 months up to 5 years. A once-a-year follow-up was scheduled beyond the five-year follow-up. Safety was assessed throughout the trial.
Overall, 49 patients accounted for the modified intent-to-treat and 47 for the PP. Slightly more male than female patients participated; mean age was 57.7 ± 11.4 years in the TIL + IL2 group and 53.5 ± 13.0 years in the abstention group. After 5 years of follow-up, 11/26 patients in the TIL + IL2 group and 13/23 in the abstention group had relapsed. There was no statistical difference between the groups (HR: 0.63 CI 95% [0.28-1.41], p = 0.258), nine patients in the TIL + IL2 and 11 in the abstention group died with no significant difference between the two groups (HR: 0.65 CI95% [0.27 - 1.59], p = 0.34). Safety was good.
We did not confirm results of a previous trial. However, ulceration of the primary melanoma may be considered predictive of the efficacy of TIL in melanoma in adjuvant setting, in a manner similar to interferon α.