Exploratory analyses of CheckMate 066 and 067 trials were conducted to investigate associations of tumor mutational burden (TMB), a 4-gene inflammatory gene expression signature, and BRAF mutation status with tumor response, progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS) in patients with advanced melanoma.
Patients and Methods
Patients with known programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression and BRAF mutation status received nivolumab (NIVO) or dacarbazine in CheckMate 066 and either NIVO, ipilimumab (IPI), or NIVO+IPI in CheckMate 067. Whole exome sequencing and RNA sequencing were used to determine TMB and inflammatory gene expression signature scores, respectively. These biomarkers were evaluated in terms of their association with PFS and OS.
In the NIVO, NIVO+IPI, and IPI arms of CheckMate 067, longer survival was associated with high (> median) versus low (≤ median) TMB with hazard ratios (HRs) (95% confidence interval [CI]) for PFS of 0.45 (0.30–0.65), 0.55 (0.38–0.81), and 0.60 (0.43–0.82), and for OS of 0.46 (0.30–0.71), 0.53 (0.34–0.82), and 0.52 (0.36–0.74), respectively. For NIVO-treated patients, these results were confirmed in CheckMate 066. A survival benefit was observed with high TMB and absence of BRAF mutation. Survival was associated with high versus low inflammatory signature scores with HRs (95% CI) for PFS of 0.56 (0.34–0.94), 0.40 (0.23–0.72), and 0.43 (0.27–0.70), and for OS of 0.37 (0.20–0.66), 0.38 (0.19–0.74), and 0.46 (0.27–0.79), in the NIVO, NIVO+IPI, and IPI arms, respectively. Weak correlations were observed between PD-L1, TMB, and the inflammatory signature.
Combined assessment of TMB, inflammatory gene expression signature, and BRAF mutation status may be predictive for response to immunotherapy in advanced melanoma.
||Illumina HiSeq 2500