Engineered cytokine products represent promising agents for the treatment of immunogenic tumors, such as malignant melanoma, in addition to immune checkpoint inhibitors. Here we describe the results of a controlled, randomized phase II clinical trial, aimed at assessing the therapeutic potential of L19IL2, a fully human fusion protein consisting of the L19 antibody specific to the alternatively spliced extra-domain B of fibronectin, fused to human interleukin-2 in advanced metastatic melanoma. In one arm, patients received dacarbazine (DTIC; 1000 mg/m2 of body surface on day 1 of 21-day cycles) as single agent, while in two other arms L19IL2 (22.5 million international units of IL2 equivalents) was added, based on two different schedules of administration. In total, 69 patients with stage IV melanoma were enrolled (24 in the dacarbazine arm, 23 and 22 in the other combination arms, respectively) and 67 received treatment. Analyses of efficacy results show a statistically significant benefit in terms of overall response rate and median progression-free survival for patients receiving L19IL2 in combination with DTIC, compared to DTIC as single agent. In light of these results, further clinical investigations with L19IL2 (alone or in combination with other agents) are warranted.
A phase II study of the L19IL2 immunocytokine in combination with dacarbazine in advanced metastatic melanoma patients / Weide, B.; Eigentler, T.; Catania, C.; Ascierto, P. A.; Cascinu, S.; Becker, J. C.; Hauschild, A.; Romanini, A.; Danielli, R.; Dummer, R.; Trefzer, U.; Elia, G.; Neri, D.; Garbe, C.. - In: CANCER IMMUNOLOGY, IMMUNOTHERAPY. - ISSN 0340-7004. - 68:9(2019), pp. 1547-1559. [10.1007/s00262-019-02383-z]