Immunotherapy Using 41BB Selected Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes for Patients With Metastatic Melanoma
Melanoma - Skin Cancer
Conditions: official terms
Melanoma - Skin Neoplasms
Conditions: Keywords
Skin Cancer, Metastatic Melanoma, Adoptive Cell Therapy, Immunotherapy, Clinical Response
Study Type
Study Phase
Phase 2
Study Design
Allocation: Non-Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment
Name: Aldesleukin Type: Drug
Name: Fludarabine Type: Drug
Name: Cylcophosphamide Type: Drug
Name: 4-1BB Selected TIL Type: Biological
Overall Status

The NCI Surgery Branch has developed an experimental therapy that involves taking white blood cells from patients' tumors, growing them in the laboratory in large numbers, and then giving the cells back to the patient. These cells are called Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes, or TIL and we have given this type of treatment to over 100 patients. In this study, we are selecting a specific subset of white blood cells from the tumor that we think are the most effective in fighting tumors and will use only these cells in making the tumor fighting cells.


The purpose of this study is to see if these specifically selected tumor fighting cells can cause melanoma tumors to shrink and to see if this treatment is safe.


- Adults age 18-70 with metastatic melanoma who have a tumor that can be safely removed.


- Work up stage: Patients will be seen as an outpatient at the NIH clinical Center and undergo a history and physical examination, scans, x-rays, lab tests, and other tests as needed

- Surgery: If the patients meet all of the requirements for the study they will undergo surgery to remove a tumor that can be used to grow the TIL product.

- Leukapheresis: Patients may undergo leukapheresis to obtain additional white blood cells. {Leukapheresis is a common procedure, which removes only the white blood cells from the patient.}

- Treatment: Once their cells have grown, the patients will be admitted to the hospital for the conditioning chemotherapy, the TIL cells and aldesleukin. They will stay in the hospital for about 4 weeks for the treatment.

Follow up: Patients will return to the clinic for a physical exam, review of side effects, lab tests, and scans about every 1-3 months for the first year, and then every 6 months to 1 year as long as their tumors are shrinking. Follow up visits take up to 2 days.

Detailed Description

- Autologous tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) followed by high dose aldesleukin can mediate the regression of bulky metastatic melanoma when administered to a patient following a non-myeloablative but lymphodepleting chemotherapy preparative regimen.

- In animal models, mixing irrelevant (non-reactive) cells with tumor-reactive cells negatively impacts on tumor treatment possibly by competing for cytokines, suggesting that enrichment for tumor-reactive cells could enhance clinical efficacy. Additionally, preclinical animal models and clinical investigation have demonstrated that prolonged in vitro culture negatively impacts on tumor treatment.

- The current method for enrichment of tumor-reactive TIL requires screening of multiple independent TIL cultures for anti-tumor specificity using gamma-interferon production by TIL. However, in vitro screening depends on autologous tumor reagents that are often unavailable, and IFN gamma release in vitro may not be the best effector function to evaluate tumor recognition. The screen increases the length of in vitro culture times ( 30 days), which results in shorter telomere lengths and more differentiated cells. Additionally, selection of a few highly reactive cultures for further expansion may reduce the diversity of CD8+ repertoire recognizing the tumor.

- 4-1BB is a co-stimulatory molecule up-regulated on the cell surface of T cells upon TCR engagement. Pre-clinical studies in the Surgery Branch have evaluated a fast and simplified method to select and expand a diverse tumor-reactive repertoire, regardless of knowledge of the specific antigen recognized, based on selection of 4-1BB expressing TIL from the fresh tumor digest.


- To determine the safety and objective response rate of patients with metastatic melanoma receiving ACT using 4-1BB selected TIL plus aldesleukin treatment following a chemotherapy preparative regimen.

- To determine the survival of patients receiving this treatment regimen.


Patients who are 18 years or older must have:

- Evaluable metastatic melanoma;

- Metastatic melanoma lesion suitable for surgical resection for the preparation of TIL;

- No contraindications to high-dose aldesleukin administration;

- No concurrent major medical illnesses or any form of immunodeficiency


- Patients with metastatic melanoma will have a lesion resected and 4-1BB expressing tumor infiltrating lymphocytes will be isolated using a FACS sorter approved for clinical use. The 4-1BB selected cells will be rapidly expanded in vitro and administered plus aldesleukin following a non-myeloablative chemotherapy preparative regimen.

- The study will be conducted using a stage 2 optimal design to determine if this treatment is able to be associated with a clinical response rate that can rule out 10% (p0=0.10) in favor of a modest 30% PR + CR rate (p1=0.30).

- Up to 35 patients may be enrolled over 2 years.
Criteria for eligibility
Healthy Volunteers: No
Maximum Age: 70 Years
Minimum Age: 18 Years
Gender: Both

1. Measurable metastatic melanoma with at least one lesion that is resectable for TIL generation. The lesion must be at least 1 cm in diameter that can be surgically removed with minimal morbidity (defined as any operation for which expected hospitalization < less than or equal to days).

2. Confirmation of diagnosis of metastatic melanoma by the Laboratory of Pathology of the NCI.

3. Patients with 3 or fewer brain metastases that are less than 1 cm in diameter and asymptomatic are eligible. Lesions that have been treated with stereotactic radiosurgery must be clinically stable for 1 month after treatment for the patient to be eligible.

4. Greater than or equal to 18 years of age and less than or equal to age 70.

5. Able to understand and sign the Informed Consent Document

6. Willing to sign a durable power of attorney

7. Clinical performance status of ECOG 0 or 1

8. Oxygen saturation of greater than or equal to 90% on room air

9. Life expectancy of greater than three months

10. Patients of both genders must be willing to practice birth control from the time of enrollment on this study and for up to four months after treatment.

11. Serology:

- Seronegative for HIV antibody. (The experimental treatment being evaluated in this protocol depends on an intact immune system. Patients who are HIV seropositive can have decreased immune-competence and thus be less responsive to the experimental treatment and more susceptible to its toxicities.)

- Seronegative for hepatitis B antigen, and seronegative for hepatitis C antibody. If hepatitis C antibody test is positive, then patient must be tested for the presence of antigen by RT-PCR and be HCV RNA negative.

12. Women of child-bearing potential must have a negative pregnancy test because of the potentially dangerous effects of the treatment on the fetus.

13. Hematology

- Absolute neutrophil count greater than 1000/mm3 without the support of filgrastim

- WBC greater than or equal to 3000/mm (3)

- Platelet count greater than or equal to 100,000/mm (3)

- Hemoglobin > 8.0 g/dl

14. Chemistry:

- Serum ALT/AST less than or equal to 2.5 times the upper limit of normal

- Serum creatinine less than or equal to 1.6 mg/dl

- Total bilirubin less than or equal to 2.0 mg/dl, except in patients with Gilbert s Syndrome who must have a total bilirubin less than 3.0 mg/dl.

15. More than four weeks must have elapsed since any prior systemic therapy at the time the patient receives the preparative regimen, and patients toxicities must have recovered to a grade 1 or less (except for toxicities such as alopecia or vitiligo). Patients must have progressing disease after prior treatment.

Note: Patients may have undergone minor surgical procedures within the past 3 weeks, as long as all toxicities have recovered to grade 1 or less or as specified in the eligibility criteria in Section 2.1.1.

16. Six weeks must have elapsed from the time of any antibody therapy that could affect an anti cancer immune response, including anti-CTLA4 antibody therapy at the time the patient receives the preparative regimen to allow antibody levels to decline.

Note: Patients who have previously received ipilimumab and have documented GI toxicity must have a normal colonoscopy with normal colonic biopsies.


1. Prior treatment with an anti-4-1BB antibody.

2. Women of child-bearing potential who are pregnant or breastfeeding because of the potentially dangerous effects of the treatment on the fetus or infant.

3. Active systemic infections, coagulation disorders or other active major medical illnesses of the cardiovascular, respiratory or immune system, as evidenced by a positive stress thallium or comparable test, myocardial infarction, cardiac arrhythmias, obstructive or restrictive pulmonary disease.

4. Any form of primary immunodeficiency (such as Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Disease).

5. Concurrent opportunistic infections (The experimental treatment being evaluated in this protocol depends on an intact immune system. Patients who have decreased immune competence may be less responsive to the experimental treatment and more susceptible to its toxicities).

6. Concurrent systemic steroid therapy.

7. History of severe immediate hypersensitivity reaction to any of the agents used in this study.

8. History of coronary revascularization or ischemic symptoms.

9. Documented LVEF of less than or equal to 45%, testing is required in patients with:

- Clinically significant atrial and/or ventricular arrhythmias including but not limited to: atrial fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia, second or third degree heart block

- Age greater than or equal to 60 years old
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, 9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland, United States
Status: Recruiting
Contact: For more information at the NIH Clinical Center contact NCI/Surgery Branch Recruitment Center - 866-820-4505 -
Start Date
February 2014
Completion Date
December 2018
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)
Record processing date processed this data on July 28, 2015 page