39 results found
Ghorani E, Quartagno M, Blackhall F, et al., 2023, REFINE-Lung implements a novel multi-arm randomised trial design to address possible immunotherapy overtreatment., Lancet Oncol, Vol: 24, Pages: e219-e227
Increasing evidence suggests that some immunotherapy dosing regimens for patients with advanced cancer could result in overtreatment. Given the high costs of these agents, and important implications for quality of life and toxicity, new approaches are needed to identify and reduce unnecessary treatment. Conventional two-arm non-inferiority designs are inefficient in this context because they require large numbers of patients to explore a single alternative to the standard of care. Here, we discuss the potential problem of overtreatment with anti-PD-1 directed agents in general and introduce REFINE-Lung (NCT05085028), a UK multicentre phase 3 study of reduced frequency pembrolizumab in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer. REFINE-Lung uses a novel multi-arm multi-stage response over continuous interventions (MAMS-ROCI) design to determine the optimal dose frequency of pembrolizumab. Along with a similarly designed basket study of patients with renal cancer and melanoma, REFINE-Lung and the MAMS-ROCI design could contribute to practice-changing advances in patient care and form a template for future immunotherapy optimisation studies across cancer types and indications. This new trial design is applicable to many new or existing agents for which optimisation of dose, frequency, or duration of therapy is desirable.
Qing C, Ghorani E, 2023, Two faces: IL-22 effects prevail over defense against metastasis., Immunity, Vol: 56, Pages: 6-8
Interleukin-22 (IL-22) is a cytokine with pleotropic and opposing roles in physiological and pathological states. In this issue of Immunity, Giannou et al. and Briukhovetska et al. demonstrate how IL-22 is involved in promoting cancer metastasis formation.
Merrick S, Nankivell M, Quartagno M, et al., 2023, REFINE (REduced Frequency ImmuNE checkpoint inhibition in cancers): A multi-arm phase II basket trial testing reduced intensity immunotherapy across different cancers, CONTEMPORARY CLINICAL TRIALS, Vol: 124, ISSN: 1551-7144
Ghorani E, Seckl MJ, 2022, Emergency craniotomy: a life-saving procedure as part of multi-modal therapy of GTN, JOURNAL OF GYNECOLOGIC ONCOLOGY, Vol: 33, ISSN: 2005-0380
Maher G, Fisher RA, Kaur B, et al., 2022, Sensitive screening of single nucleotide polymorphisms in cell free DNA for diagnosis of gestational tumours, npj Genomic Medicine, Vol: 7, Pages: 1-8, ISSN: 2056-7944
Tumours expressing human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), the majority of which are difficult to biopsy due to their vascularity, have disparate prognoses depending on their origin. As optimal management relies on accurate diagnosis, we aimed to develop a sensitive cell free DNA (cfDNA) assay to non-invasively distinguish between cases of gestational and non-gestational origin. Deep error-corrected Illumina sequencing of 195 common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in cfDNA and matched genomic DNA from 36 patients with hCG-secreting tumours (serum hCG 5 to 3,042,881 IU/L) and 7 controls with normal hCG levels (≤ 4 IU/L) was performed. cfDNA from confirmed gestational tumours with hCG levels ranging from 1,497 to 700,855 IU/L had multiple (n ≥12) ‘non-host’ alleles (i.e. alleles of paternal origin). In such cases the non-host fraction of cfDNA ranged from 0.3% - 40.4% and correlated with serum hCG levels. At lower hCG levels the ability to detect non-host cfDNA was variable, with the detection limit dependent on the type of causative pregnancy. Patients with non-gestational tumours were identifiable by the absence of non-host cfDNA, with copy number alterations detectable in the majority of cases. Following validation in a larger cohort, our sensitive assay will enable clinicians to better inform patients, for whom biopsy is inappropriate, of their prognosis and provide optimum management.
Au L, Hatipoglu E, de Massy MR, et al., 2021, Determinants of anti-PD-1 response and resistance in clear cell renal cell carcinoma, CANCER CELL, Vol: 39, Pages: 1497-+, ISSN: 1535-6108
Bentham R, Litchfield K, Watkins TBK, et al., 2021, Using DNA sequencing data to quantify T cell fraction and therapy response., Nature, Vol: 597, Pages: 555-560
The immune microenvironment influences tumour evolution and can be both prognostic and predict response to immunotherapy1,2. However, measurements of tumour infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) are limited by a shortage of appropriate data. Whole-exome sequencing (WES) of DNA is frequently performed to calculate tumour mutational burden and identify actionable mutations. Here we develop T cell exome TREC tool (T cell ExTRECT), a method for estimation of T cell fraction from WES samples using a signal from T cell receptor excision circle (TREC) loss during V(D)J recombination of the T cell receptor-α gene (TCRA (also known as TRA)). TCRA T cell fraction correlates with orthogonal TIL estimates and is agnostic to sample type. Blood TCRA T cell fraction is higher in females than in males and correlates with both tumour immune infiltrate and presence of bacterial sequencing reads. Tumour TCRA T cell fraction is prognostic in lung adenocarcinoma. Using a meta-analysis of tumours treated with immunotherapy, we show that tumour TCRA T cell fraction predicts immunotherapy response, providing value beyond measuring tumour mutational burden. Applying T cell ExTRECT to a multi-sample pan-cancer cohort reveals a high diversity of the degree of immune infiltration within tumours. Subclonal loss of 12q24.31-32, encompassing SPPL3, is associated with reduced TCRA T cell fraction. T cell ExTRECT provides a cost-effective technique to characterize immune infiltrate alongside somatic changes.
Braga A, Paiva G, Ghorani E, et al., 2021, Predictors for single-agent resistance in FIGO score 5 or 6 gestational trophoblastic neoplasia: a multicentre, retrospective, cohort study, LANCET ONCOLOGY, Vol: 22, Pages: 1188-1198, ISSN: 1470-2045
Seckl MJ, Ghorani E, 2021, Progress to international harmonisation of care and future developments, BEST PRACTICE & RESEARCH CLINICAL OBSTETRICS & GYNAECOLOGY, Vol: 74, Pages: 159-167, ISSN: 1521-6934
Porter A, Barcelon JM, Budker RL, et al., 2021, Treatment of metastatic placental site trophoblastic tumor with surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy and coil embolization of multiple pulmonary arteriovenous fistulate, Gynecologic Oncology Reports, Vol: 36, Pages: 1-4, ISSN: 2352-5789
Placental Site Trophoblastic Tumor (PSTT) is a rare malignancy that often presents with extensive disease and can be resistant to traditional treatments. We present the case of a woman with stage IV PSTT who was initially managed with neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by tumor debulking. Adjuvant therapy was guided by further pathologic analysis that revealed high levels of staining for PD-L1 as well as the presence of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs). Subsequently, the patient was treated with traditional chemotherapy with the EP/EMA regimen with the addition of pembrolizumab. The patient’s treatment course was complicated by the development of pulmonary arteriovenous malformations, autoimmune thyroiditis thought to be secondary to immunotherapy, and significant tinnitus secondary to platinum agents. Currently the patient is in follow up and remains in a complete remission.
Solomon I, Amann M, Goubier A, et al., 2020, CD25-T-reg-depleting antibodies preserving IL-2 signaling on effector T cells enhance effector activation and antitumor immunity, NATURE CANCER, Vol: 1, Pages: 1153-+
Bouchard-Fortier G, Ghorani E, Short D, et al., 2020, Following chemotherapy for gestational trophoblastic neoplasia, do residual lung lesions increase the risk of relapse?, GYNECOLOGIC ONCOLOGY, Vol: 158, Pages: 698-701, ISSN: 0090-8258
Alrasheed N, Lee L, Ghorani E, et al., 2020, Marrow-Infiltrating Regulatory T Cells Correlate with the Presence of Dysfunctional CD4+PD-1+ Cells and Inferior Survival in Patients with Newly Diagnosed Multiple Myeloma., Clin Cancer Res, Vol: 26, Pages: 3443-3454
PURPOSE: Immune dysregulation is described in multiple myeloma. While preclinical models suggest a role for altered T-cell immunity in disease progression, the contribution of immune dysfunction to clinical outcomes remains unclear. We aimed to characterize marrow-infiltrating T cells in newly diagnosed patients and explore associations with outcomes of first-line therapy. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We undertook detailed characterization of T cells from bone marrow (BM) samples, focusing on immune checkpoints and features of immune dysfunction, correlating with clinical features and progression-free survival. RESULTS: We found that patients with multiple myeloma had greater abundance of BM regulatory T cells (Tregs) which, in turn, expressed higher levels of the activation marker CD25 compared with healthy donors. Patients with higher frequencies of Tregs had shorter PFS and a distinct Treg immune checkpoint profile (increased PD-1, LAG-3) compared with patients with lower frequencies of Tregs. Analysis of CD4 and CD8 effectors revealed that low CD4effector (CD4eff):Treg ratio and increased frequency of PD-1-expressing CD4eff cells were independent predictors of early relapse over and above conventional risk factors, such as genetic risk and depth of response. Ex vivo functional analysis and RNA sequencing revealed that CD4 and CD8 cells from patients with greater abundance of CD4effPD-1+ cells displayed transcriptional and secretory features of dysfunction. CONCLUSIONS: BM-infiltrating T-cell subsets, specifically Tregs and PD-1-expressing CD4 effectors, negatively influence clinical outcomes in newly diagnosed patients. Pending confirmation in larger cohorts and further mechanistic work, these immune parameters may inform new risk models, and present potential targets for immunotherapeutic strategies.
Joshi K, de Massy MR, Ismail M, et al., 2020, Publisher Correction: Spatial heterogeneity of the T cell receptor repertoire reflects the mutational landscape in lung cancer., Nat Med, Vol: 26
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
AbdulJabbar K, Raza SEA, Rosenthal R, et al., 2020, Geospatial immune variability illuminates differential evolution of lung adenocarcinoma., Nat Med, Vol: 26, Pages: 1054-1062
Remarkable progress in molecular analyses has improved our understanding of the evolution of cancer cells toward immune escape1-5. However, the spatial configurations of immune and stromal cells, which may shed light on the evolution of immune escape across tumor geographical locations, remain unaddressed. We integrated multiregion exome and RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) data with spatial histology mapped by deep learning in 100 patients with non-small cell lung cancer from the TRACERx cohort6. Cancer subclones derived from immune cold regions were more closely related in mutation space, diversifying more recently than subclones from immune hot regions. In TRACERx and in an independent multisample cohort of 970 patients with lung adenocarcinoma, tumors with more than one immune cold region had a higher risk of relapse, independently of tumor size, stage and number of samples per patient. In lung adenocarcinoma, but not lung squamous cell carcinoma, geometrical irregularity and complexity of the cancer-stromal cell interface significantly increased in tumor regions without disruption of antigen presentation. Decreased lymphocyte accumulation in adjacent stroma was observed in tumors with low clonal neoantigen burden. Collectively, immune geospatial variability elucidates tumor ecological constraints that may shape the emergence of immune-evading subclones and aggressive clinical phenotypes.
Ghorani E, Reading JL, Henry JY, et al., 2020, The T cell differentiation landscape is shaped by tumour mutations in lung cancer., Nat Cancer, Vol: 1, Pages: 546-561
Tumour mutational burden (TMB) predicts immunotherapy outcome in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), consistent with immune recognition of tumour neoantigens. However, persistent antigen exposure is detrimental for T cell function. How TMB affects CD4 and CD8 T cell differentiation in untreated tumours, and whether this affects patient outcomes is unknown. Here we paired high-dimensional flow cytometry, exome, single-cell and bulk RNA sequencing from patients with resected, untreated NSCLC to examine these relationships. TMB was associated with compartment-wide T cell differentiation skewing, characterized by loss of TCF7-expressing progenitor-like CD4 T cells, and an increased abundance of dysfunctional CD8 and CD4 T cell subsets, with significant phenotypic and transcriptional similarity to neoantigen-reactive CD8 T cells. A gene signature of redistribution from progenitor-like to dysfunctional states associated with poor survival in lung and other cancer cohorts. Single-cell characterization of these populations informs potential strategies for therapeutic manipulation in NSCLC.
Lopez S, Lim EL, Horswell S, et al., 2020, Interplay between whole-genome doubling and the accumulation of deleterious alterations in cancer evolution, NATURE GENETICS, Vol: 52, Pages: 283-+, ISSN: 1061-4036
Sledzinska A, de Mucha MV, Bergerhoff K, et al., 2020, Regulatory T Cells Restrain Interleukin-2-and Blimp-1-Dependent Acquisition of Cytotoxic Function by CD4(+) T Cells, IMMUNITY, Vol: 52, Pages: 151-+, ISSN: 1074-7613
Balachandran K, Salawu A, Ghorani E, et al., 2019, When to stop human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) surveillance after treatment with chemotherapy for gestational trophoblastic neoplasia (GTN): A national analysis on over 4,000 patients, GYNECOLOGIC ONCOLOGY, Vol: 155, Pages: 8-12, ISSN: 0090-8258
Feretis M, Wang T, Ghorani E, et al., 2019, A rational approach to postoperative surveillance for resected non-functional pancreatic neuro-endocrine tumours., Pancreatology, Vol: 19, Pages: 1000-1007
BACKGROUND: Non-functional pancreatic neuroendocrine tumours (NF-PNETs) are rare and have highly variable outcomes. Current guidelines recommend surveillance for NF-PNETs <2 cm. Patients who ultimately have surgical resection are at risk of disease recurrence, and data to support postoperative surveillance protocols are lacking. The aims of this study were to i) identify post-operative predictors of recurrence and ii) risk stratify patients at risk of recurrence. METHODS: Consecutive patients who underwent surgery for NF-PNETs between 2002 and 2015 were identified retrospectively. Data were collected on demographics, pre-operative laboratory results and histopathological tumour characteristics. Statistical analyses were based on penalised Cox-regression modelling and a decision-tree model. Comparison of the variables identified was performed using ROC curves to identify the most sensitive and specific variable associated with disease recurrence. RESULTS: We identified 73 patients (38 males) with a median age of 61.5 years (range: 31-79). The median period of follow-up was 49 months (5-131). During follow up, 10 deaths (13.9%) were recorded and disease recurrence occurred in 12 patients (16.4%). The Kaplan-Meier predicted 1-,3- and 5-year recurrence-free survival rates were 98.6% (95% CI = 95.9, 100%), 85.4% (76.9-94.8%) and 72% (58.7-88.2%) respectively. Cox multivariate analysis identified poor tumour differentiation (WHO G3 grade) and lymph node ratio (LNR) as independent predictors for recurrence (p < 0.05). A simple criterion of 'tumour grade G3 or LNR ≥0.1' was found to be sensitive and specific in detecting disease recurrence. CONCLUSION: Our results have identified a simple and sensitive criterion for risk stratifying post-resection surveillance. Prospective validation in larger patient cohort is now warranted.
Joshi K, de Massy MR, Ismail M, et al., 2019, Spatial heterogeneity of the T cell receptor repertoire reflects the mutational landscape in lung cancer., Nat Med, Vol: 25, Pages: 1549-1559
Somatic mutations together with immunoediting drive extensive heterogeneity within non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Herein we examine heterogeneity of the T cell antigen receptor (TCR) repertoire. The number of TCR sequences selectively expanded in tumors varies within and between tumors and correlates with the number of nonsynonymous mutations. Expanded TCRs can be subdivided into TCRs found in all tumor regions (ubiquitous) and those present in a subset of regions (regional). The number of ubiquitous and regional TCRs correlates with the number of ubiquitous and regional nonsynonymous mutations, respectively. Expanded TCRs form part of clusters of TCRs of similar sequence, suggestive of a spatially constrained antigen-driven process. CD8+ tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes harboring ubiquitous TCRs display a dysfunctional tissue-resident phenotype. Ubiquitous TCRs are preferentially detected in the blood at the time of tumor resection as compared to routine follow-up. These findings highlight a noninvasive method to identify and track relevant tumor-reactive TCRs for use in adoptive T cell immunotherapy.
Menares E, Gálvez-Cancino F, Cáceres-Morgado P, et al., 2019, Tissue-resident memory CD8+ T cells amplify anti-tumor immunity by triggering antigen spreading through dendritic cells., Nat Commun, Vol: 10
Tissue-resident memory CD8+ T (Trm) cells mediate potent local innate and adaptive immune responses and play a central role against solid tumors. However, whether Trm cells cross-talk with dendritic cells (DCs) to support anti-tumor immunity remains unclear. Here we show that antigen-specific activation of skin Trm cells leads to maturation and migration to draining lymph nodes of cross-presenting dermal DCs. Tumor rejection mediated by Trm cells triggers the spread of cytotoxic CD8+ T cell responses against tumor-derived neo- and self-antigens via dermal DCs. These responses suppress the growth of intradermal tumors and disseminated melanoma lacking the Trm cell-targeted epitope. Moreover, analysis of RNA sequencing data from human melanoma tumors reveals that enrichment of a Trm cell gene signature associates with DC activation and improved survival. This work unveils the ability of Trm cells to amplify the breath of cytotoxic CD8+ T cell responses through DCs, thereby strengthening anti-tumor immunity.
Rosenthal R, Cadieux EL, Salgado R, et al., 2019, Neoantigen-directed immune escape in lung cancer evolution, NATURE, Vol: 567, Pages: 479-+, ISSN: 0028-0836
Wong YNS, Joshi K, Khetrapal P, et al., 2018, Urine-derived lymphocytes as a non-invasive measure of the bladder tumor immune microenvironment., J Exp Med, Vol: 215, Pages: 2748-2759
Despite the advances in cancer immunotherapy, only a fraction of patients with bladder cancer exhibit responses to checkpoint blockade, highlighting a need to better understand drug resistance and identify rational immunotherapy combinations. However, accessibility to the tumor prior and during therapy is a major limitation in understanding the immune tumor microenvironment (TME). Herein, we identified urine-derived lymphocytes (UDLs) as a readily accessible source of T cells in 32 patients with muscle invasive bladder cancer (MIBC). We observed that effector CD8+ and CD4+ cells and regulatory T cells within the urine accurately map the immune checkpoint landscape and T cell receptor repertoire of the TME. Finally, an increased UDL count, specifically high expression of PD-1 (PD-1hi) on CD8+ at the time of cystectomy, was associated with a shorter recurrence-free survival. UDL analysis represents a dynamic liquid biopsy that is representative of the bladder immune TME that may be used to identify actionable immuno-oncology (IO) targets with potential prognostic value in MIBC.
Chakravarthy A, Furness A, Joshi K, et al., 2018, Author Correction: Pan-cancer deconvolution of tumour composition using DNA methylation., Nat Commun, Vol: 9
The original version of this Article contained an error in Figure 4. In panel a, the colour code for hot and cold clusters was inadvertently inverted. In the correct version of panel a, the hot clusters are blue and the cold clusters are yellow. This error has now been corrected in both the PDF and HTML versions of the Article.
Chakravarthy A, Furness A, Joshi K, et al., 2018, Pan-cancer deconvolution of tumour composition using DNA methylation., Nat Commun, Vol: 9
The nature and extent of immune cell infiltration into solid tumours are key determinants of therapeutic response. Here, using a DNA methylation-based approach to tumour cell fraction deconvolution, we report the integrated analysis of tumour composition and genomics across a wide spectrum of solid cancers. Initially studying head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, we identify two distinct tumour subgroups: 'immune hot' and 'immune cold', which display differing prognosis, mutation burden, cytokine signalling, cytolytic activity and oncogenic driver events. We demonstrate the existence of such tumour subgroups pan-cancer, link clonal-neoantigen burden to cytotoxic T-lymphocyte infiltration, and show that transcriptional signatures of hot tumours are selectively engaged in immunotherapy responders. We also find that treatment-naive hot tumours are markedly enriched for known immune-resistance genomic alterations, potentially explaining the heterogeneity of immunotherapy response and prognosis seen within this group. Finally, we define a catalogue of mediators of active antitumour immunity, deriving candidate biomarkers and potential targets for precision immunotherapy.
Arce Vargas F, Furness AJS, Litchfield K, et al., 2018, Fc Effector Function Contributes to the Activity of Human Anti-CTLA-4 Antibodies., Cancer Cell, Vol: 33, Pages: 649-663.e4
With the use of a mouse model expressing human Fc-gamma receptors (FcγRs), we demonstrated that antibodies with isotypes equivalent to ipilimumab and tremelimumab mediate intra-tumoral regulatory T (Treg) cell depletion in vivo, increasing the CD8+ to Treg cell ratio and promoting tumor rejection. Antibodies with improved FcγR binding profiles drove superior anti-tumor responses and survival. In patients with advanced melanoma, response to ipilimumab was associated with the CD16a-V158F high affinity polymorphism. Such activity only appeared relevant in the context of inflamed tumors, explaining the modest response rates observed in the clinical setting. Our data suggest that the activity of anti-CTLA-4 in inflamed tumors may be improved through enhancement of FcγR binding, whereas poorly infiltrated tumors will likely require combination approaches.
Lakins MA, Ghorani E, Munir H, et al., 2018, Cancer-associated fibroblasts induce antigen-specific deletion of CD8 + T Cells to protect tumour cells., Nat Commun, Vol: 9
Tumours have developed strategies to interfere with most steps required for anti-tumour immune responses. Although many populations contribute to anti-tumour responses, tumour-infiltrating cytotoxic T cells dominate, hence, many suppressive strategies act to inhibit these. Tumour-associated T cells are frequently restricted to stromal zones rather than tumour islands, raising the possibility that the tumour microenvironment, where crosstalk between malignant and "normal" stromal cells exists, may be critical for T cell suppression. We provide evidence of direct interactions between stroma and T cells driving suppression, showing that cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) sample, process and cross-present antigen, killing CD8+ T cells in an antigen-specific, antigen-dependent manner via PD-L2 and FASL. Inhibitory ligand expression is observed in CAFs from human tumours, and neutralisation of PD-L2 or FASL reactivates T cell cytotoxic capacity in vitro and in vivo. Thus, CAFs support T cell suppression within the tumour microenvironment by a mechanism dependent on immune checkpoint activation.
Ghorani E, Quezada SA, 2018, Chromatin regulation and immune escape.
Ghorani E, Rosenthal R, McGranahan N, et al., 2018, Differential binding affinity of mutated peptides for MHC class I is a predictor of survival in advanced lung cancer and melanoma., Ann Oncol, Vol: 29, Pages: 271-279
BACKGROUND: Cancer mutations generate novel (neo-)peptides recognised by T cells, but the determinants of recognition are not well characterised. The difference in predicted class I major histocompatibility complex (MHC-I) binding affinity between wild-type and corresponding mutant peptides (differential agretopicity index; DAI) may reflect clinically relevant cancer peptide immunogenicity. Our aim was to explore the relationship between DAI, measures of immune infiltration and patient outcomes in advanced cancer. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Cohorts of patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC; LUAD, n = 66) and melanoma (SKCM, n = 72) were obtained from The Cancer Genome Atlas. Three additional cohorts of immunotherapy treated patients with advanced melanoma (total n = 131) and NSCLC (n = 31) were analysed. Neopeptides and their clonal status were defined using genomic data. MHC-I binding affinity was predicted for each neopeptide and DAI values summarised as the sample mean DAI. Correlations between mean DAI and markers of immune activity were evaluated using measures of lymphocyte infiltration and immune gene expression. RESULTS: In univariate and multivariate analyses, mean DAI significantly correlated with overall survival in 3/5 cohorts, with evidence of superiority over nonsynonymous mutational and neoantigen burden. In these cohorts, the effect was seen for mean DAI of clonal but not subclonal peptides. In SKCM, the association between mean DAI and survival bordered significance (P = 0.068), reaching significance in an immunotherapy-treated melanoma cohort (P = 0.003). Mean DAI but not mutational nor neoantigen burden was positively correlated with independently derived markers of immune infiltration in both SKCM (P = 0.027) and LUAD (P = 0.024). CONCLUSIONS: The association between mean DAI, survival and measures of immune activity suppor
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