Immune Monitoring in Melanoma and Urothelial Cancer Patients Treated with Anti-PD-1 Immunotherapy and SBRT Discloses Tumor Specific Immune Signatures
(1) Background: Blockade of the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway has revolutionized the oncology field in the last decade. However, the proportion of patients experiencing a durable response is still limited. In the current study, we performed an extensive immune monitoring in patients with stage III/IV melanoma and stage IV UC who received anti-PD-1 immunotherapy with SBRT. (2) Methods: In total 145 blood samples from 38 patients, collected at fixed time points before and during treatment, were phenotyped
... a high-parameter flow cytometry, luminex assay and UPLC-MS/MS. (3) Results: Baseline systemic immunity in melanoma and UC patients was different with a more prominent myeloid compartment and a higher neutrophil to lymphocyte ratio in UC. Proliferation (Ki67+) of CD8+ T-cells and of the PD-1+/PD-L1+ CD8+ subset at baseline correlated with progression free survival in melanoma. In contrast a higher frequency of PD-1/PD-L1 expressing non-proliferating (Ki67−) CD8+ and CD4+ T-cells before treatment was associated with worse outcome in melanoma. In UC, the expansion of Ki67+ CD8+ T-cells and of the PD-L1+ subset relative to tumor burden correlated with clinical outcome. (4) Conclusion: This study reveals a clearly different immune landscape in melanoma and UC at baseline, which may impact immunotherapy response. Signatures of proliferation in the CD8+ T-cell compartment prior to and early after anti-PD-1 initiation were positively correlated with clinical outcome in both cohorts. PD-1/PD-L1 expression on circulating immune cell subsets seems of clinical relevance in the melanoma cohort.