Baseline relative eosinophil count as a predictive biomarker for ipilimumab treatment in advanced melanoma

Pier Francesco Ferrucci, Sara Gandini, Emilia Cocorocchio, Laura Pala, Federica Baldini, Massimo Mosconi, Gian Carlo Antonini Cappellini, Elena Albertazzi, Chiara Martinoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As diverse therapeutic options are now available for advanced melanoma patients, predictive markers that may assist treatment decision are needed. A model based on baseline serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), peripheral blood relative lymphocyte counts (RLC) and eosinophil counts (REC) and pattern of distant metastasis, has been recently proposed for pembrolizumab-treated patients. Here, we applied this model to advanced melanoma patients receiving chemotherapy (n = 116) or anti- CTLA-4 therapy (n = 128). Visceral involvement, LDH and RLC were associated with prognosis regardless of treatment. Instead, when compared to chemotherapy-treated patients with REC < 1.5%, those with REC ≥ 1.5% had improved overall survival when receiving anti-CTLA-4 [Hazard Ratio (HR) = 0.56 (0.4-0.93)] but not chemotherapy [HR = 1.13, (0.74-1.74)], and the treatment-by-REC interaction was significant for both overall (p = 0.04) and progression free survival (p = 0.009). These results indicate baseline REC ≥ 1.5% as a candidate predictive biomarker for benefit from anti-CTLA-4. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings in patients receiving immune-modulating agents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79809-79815
Number of pages7
Issue number45
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Biomarker
  • Eosinophil
  • Ipilimumab
  • Melanoma
  • Predictive

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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