A multi-center phase i trial of ipilimumab in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes following hypomethylating agent failure

Amer M. Zeidan, Hanna A. Knaus, Tara M. Robinson, Andrea M.H. Towlerton, Edus H. Warren, Joshua F. Zeidner, Amanda L. Blackford, Amy S. Duffield, David Rizzieri, Mark G. Frattini, Yair M. Levy, Mark A. Schroeder, Anna Ferguson, Katherine E. Sheldon, Amy E. DeZern, Ivana Gojo, Steven D. Gore, Howard Streicher, Leo Luznik, B. Douglas Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Purpose: After failure of hypomethylating agents (HMA), patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) have dismal survival and no approved treatment options. Patients and Methods: We conducted a phase 1b investigator-initiated trial of ipilimumab in patients with higher risk MDS who have failed HMAs. Patients received monotherapy at two dose levels (DL; 3 and 10 mg/kg) with an induction followed by a maintenance phase. Toxicities and responses were evaluated with CTCAE.4 and IWG-2006 criteria, respectively. We also performed immunologic assays and T-cell receptor sequencing on serial samples. Results: Twenty-nine patients from 7 centers were enrolled. In the initial DL1 (3 mg), 3 of 6 patients experienced grade 2-4 immune-related adverse events (IRAE) that were reversible with drug discontinuation and/or systemic steroids. In DL2, 4 of 5 patients experienced grade 2 or higher IRAE; thus, DL1 (3 mg/kg) was expanded with no grade 2-4 IRAEs reported in 18 additional patients. Best responses included marrow complete response (mCR) in one patient (3.4%). Prolonged stable disease (PSD) for ≥46 weeks occurred in 7 patients (24% of entire cohort and 29% of those treated with 3 mg/kg dose), including 3 patients with more than a year of SD. Five patients underwent allografting without excessive toxicity. Median survival for the group was 294 days (95% CI, 240-671+). Patients who achieved PSD or mCR had significantly higher frequency of T cells expressing ICOS (inducible T-cell co-stimulator). Conclusions: Our findings suggest that ipilimumab dosed at 3 mg/kg in patients with MDS after HMA failure is safe but has limited efficacy as a monotherapy. Increased frequency of ICOS-expressing T cells might predict clinical benefit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3519-3527
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018


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