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PURPOSE: Talimogene laherparepvec (T-VEC) is a herpes simplex virus type 1-derived oncolytic immunotherapy designed to selectively replicate within tumors and produce granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) to enhance systemic antitumor immune responses. T-VEC was compared with GM-CSF in patients with unresected stage IIIB to IV melanoma in a randomized open-label phase III trial. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients with injectable melanoma that was not surgically resectable were randomly assigned at a two-to-one ratio to intralesional T-VEC or subcutaneous GM-CSF. The primary end point was durable response rate (DRR; objective response lasting continuously ≥ 6 months) per independent assessment. Key secondary end points included overall survival (OS) and overall response rate. RESULTS: Among 436 patients randomly assigned, DRR was significantly higher with T-VEC (16.3%; 95% CI, 12.1% to 20.5%) than GM-CSF (2.1%; 95% CI, 0% to 4.5%]; odds ratio, 8.9; P < .001). Overall response rate was also higher in the T-VEC arm (26.4%; 95% CI, 21.4% to 31.5% v 5.7%; 95% CI, 1.9% to 9.5%). Median OS was 23.3 months (95% CI, 19.5 to 29.6 months) with T-VEC and 18.9 months (95% CI, 16.0 to 23.7 months) with GM-CSF (hazard ratio, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.62 to 1.00; P = .051). T-VEC efficacy was most pronounced in patients with stage IIIB, IIIC, or IVM1a disease and in patients with treatment-naive disease. The most common adverse events (AEs) with T-VEC were fatigue, chills, and pyrexia. The only grade 3 or 4 AE occurring in ≥ 2% of T-VEC-treated patients was cellulitis (2.1%). No fatal treatment-related AEs occurred. CONCLUSION: T-VEC is the first oncolytic immunotherapy to demonstrate therapeutic benefit against melanoma in a phase III clinical trial. T-VEC was well tolerated and resulted in a higher DRR (P < .001) and longer median OS (P = .051), particularly in untreated patients or those with stage IIIB, IIIC, or IVM1a disease. T-VEC represents a novel potential therapy for patients with metastatic melanoma.

Original publication

DOI

10.1200/JCO.2014.58.3377

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Clin Oncol

Publication Date

01/09/2015

Volume

33

Pages

2780 - 2788

Keywords

Adjuvants, Immunologic, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Antineoplastic Agents, Chills, Fatigue, Female, Fever, Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor, Herpesvirus 1, Human, Humans, Immunotherapy, Injections, Intralesional, Male, Melanoma, Middle Aged, Neoplasm Staging, Odds Ratio, Oncolytic Virotherapy, Oncolytic Viruses, Skin Neoplasms, Survival Analysis, Time Factors, Treatment Outcome, United States