Immune and targeted therapies achieve long-term survival in metastatic melanoma; however, new treatment strategies are needed to improve patients’ outcomes1,2. We report on the efficacy, safety and biomarker analysis from the single-arm safety run-in (part 1; n = 9) and biomarker (part 2; n = 27) cohorts of the randomized, placebo-controlled, phase 3 COMBI-i trial (NCT02967692) of the anti-PD-1 antibody spartalizumab, in combination with the BRAF inhibitor dabrafenib and MEK inhibitor trametinib. Patients (n = 36) had previously untreated BRAF V600-mutant unresectable or metastatic melanoma. In part 1, the recommended phase 3 regimen was identified based on the incidence of dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs; primary endpoint): 400 mg of spartalizumab every 4 weeks plus 150 mg of dabrafenib twice daily plus 2 mg of trametinib once daily. Part 2 characterized changes in PD-L1 levels and CD8+ cells following treatment (primary endpoint), and analyzed additional biomarkers. Assessments of efficacy and safety were key secondary endpoints (median follow-up, 24.3 months). Spartalizumab plus dabrafenib and trametinib led to an objective response rate (ORR) of 78%, including 44% complete responses (CRs). Grade ≥3 treatment-related adverse events (TRAEs) were experienced by 72% of patients. All patients had temporary dose modifications, and 17% permanently discontinued all three study drugs due to TRAEs. Early progression-free survival (PFS) events were associated with low tumor mutational burden/T cell–inflamed gene expression signature (GES) or high immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment (TME) GES levels at baseline; an immunosuppressive TME may also preclude CR. Overall, the efficacy, safety and on-treatment biomarker modulations associated with spartalizumab plus dabrafenib and trametinib are promising, and biomarkers that may predict long-term benefit were identified.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)