Lifileucel Data Encourage Expansion to Solid Tumor Setting

Source: Targeted Oncology, March 2024

It is a promising time for cellular therapy, and combinations with gene modification or other systemic or local therapies bode well for solid tumor development of this TIL therapy platform.

Despite the rapid application and development of cellular therapies for hematologic malignancies, including chimeric antigen receptor cells, the field of cellular therapy for solid tumors has primarily been tumor infiltrating lymphocyte products. As with most cancer immunotherapies developed in recent decades, metastatic melanoma has been the proving ground for new agents. At the European Society for Medical Oncology Immuno-Oncology Congress in December, the lifileucel TIL therapy data (C-144-01 study, NCT02360579) were presented, now with years of follow-up. These findings led to the FDA approval for the treatment of patients with advanced melanoma who have progressed following anti-PD1/PD-L1 and/or targeted therapy.

Besides response rates, durability is the hallmark of successful cancer immunotherapy. With an overall response rate of over 31%, including several complete responders, it should be acknowledged that this is a very impressive dataset with durability. Clearly, there were more responders among patients with fewer liver and brain lesions, less tumor burden in terms of median target lesions and size, and fewer baseline lesions. Indeed, most toxicities came from the nonmyeloablative conditioning regimen.