Serum markers improve current prediction of metastasis development in early-stage melanoma patients: a machine learning-based study.
ABSTRACT: Metastasis development represents an important threat for melanoma patients, even when diagnosed at early stages and upon removal of the primary tumor. In this scenario, determination of prognostic biomarkers would be of great interest. Serum contains information about the general status of the organism and therefore represents a valuable source for biomarkers. Thus, we aimed to define serological biomarkers that could be used along with clinical and histopathological features of the disease to predict metastatic events on the early-stage population of patients. We previously demonstrated that in stage II melanoma patients, serum levels of dermcidin (DCD) were associated with metastatic progression. Based on the relevance of the immune response on the cancer progression and the recent association of DCD with local and systemic immune response against cancer cells, serum DCD was analyzed in a new cohort of patients along with interleukin 4 (IL-4), IL-6, IL-10, IL-17A, interferon ? (IFN-?), transforming growth factor-? (TGF- ?), and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF). We initially recruited 448 melanoma patients, 323 of whom were diagnosed as stages I-II according to AJCC. Levels of selected cytokines were determined by ELISA and Luminex, and obtained data were analyzed employing machine learning and Kaplan-Meier techniques to define an algorithm capable of accurately classifying early-stage melanoma patients with a high and low risk of developing metastasis. The results show that in early-stage melanoma patients, serum levels of the cytokines IL-4, GM-CSF, and DCD together with the Breslow thickness are those that best predict melanoma metastasis. Moreover, resulting algorithm represents a new tool to discriminate subjects with good prognosis from those with high risk for a future metastasis.
Project description:Surrogate biomarkers of efficacy are needed for anti-PD1/PD-L1 therapy, given the existence of delayed responses and pseudo-progressions. We evaluated changes in serum IL-8 levels as a biomarker of response to anti-PD-1 blockade in melanoma and non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients.Metastatic melanoma and NSCLC patients treated with nivolumab or pembrolizumab alone or nivolumab plus ipilimumab were studied. Serum was collected at baseline; at 2-4?weeks after the first dose; and at the time-points of response evaluation. Serum IL-8 levels were determined by sandwich ELISA. Changes in serum IL-8 levels were compared with the Wilcoxon test and their strength of association with response was assessed with the Mann-Whitney test. Accuracy of changes in IL-8 levels to predict response was estimated using receiver operation characteristics curves.Twenty-nine melanoma patients treated with nivolumab or pembrolizumab were studied. In responding patients, serum IL-8 levels significantly decreased between baseline and best response (P <0.001), and significantly increased upon progression (P?=? 0.004). In non-responders, IL-8 levels significantly increased between baseline and progression (P?=? 0.013). Early changes in serum IL-8 levels (2-4?weeks after treatment initiation) were strongly associated with response (P <0.001). These observations were validated in 19 NSCLC patients treated with nivolumab or pembrolizumab (P?=? 0.001), and in 15 melanoma patients treated with nivolumab plus ipilimumab (P <0.001). Early decreases in serum IL-8 levels were associated with longer overall survival in melanoma (P?=? 0.001) and NSCLC (P?=? 0.015) patients. Serum IL-8 levels also correctly reflected true response in three cancer patients presenting pseudoprogression.Changes in serum IL-8 levels could be used to monitor and predict clinical benefit from immune checkpoint blockade in melanoma and NSCLC patients.
Project description:Extended criteria donor (ECD) and donation after circulatory death (DCD) kidneys are at increased risk of delayed graft function (DGF). Experimental evidence suggests that erythropoietin (EPO) attenuates renal damage in acute kidney injury. This study piloted the administration of high dose recombinant human EPO-beta at implantation of ECD and DCD kidneys, and evaluated biomarkers of kidney injury post-transplant.Forty patients were randomly assigned to receive either rhEPO-b (100,000 iu) (n = 19 in the intervention group, as 1 patient was un-transplantable post randomisation), or placebo (n = 20) in this, double blind, placebo-controlled trial at Manchester Royal Infirmary from August 2007 to June 2009. Participants received either an ECD (n = 17) or DCD (n = 22) kidney. Adverse events, renal function, haematopoietic markers, and rejections were recorded out to 90 days post-transplant. Biomarkers of kidney injury (neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin, Kidney Injury Molecule-1 and IL-18) were measured in blood and urine during the first post-operative week.The incidence of DGF (53% vs 55%) (RR = 1.0; CI = 0.5-1.6; p = 0.93) and slow graft function (SGF) (32% vs 25%) (RR = 1.1; CI = 0.5-1.9; p = 0.73) respectively, serum creatinine, eGFR, haemoglobin and haematocrit, blood pressure, and acute rejection were similar in the 2 study arms. High dose rhEPO-b had little effect on the temporal profiles of the biomarkers.High dose rhEPO-b appears to be safe and well tolerated in the early post- transplant period in this study, but has little effect on delayed or slow graft function in recipients of kidneys from DCD and ECD donors. Comparing the profiles of biomarkers of kidney injury (NGAL, IL-18 and KIM-1) showed little difference between the rhEPO-b treated and placebo groups. A meta-analysis of five trials yielded an overall estimate of the RR for DGF of 0.89 (CI = 0.73; 1.07), a modest effect favouring EPO but not a significant difference. A definitive trial based on this estimate would require 1000-2500 patients per arm for populations with base DGF rates of 50-30% and 90% power. Such a trial is clearly unfeasible.EudraCT Number 2006-005373-22 ISRCTN ISRCTN85447324 registered 19/08/09.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Predicting metastasis in melanoma patients is important for disease management and could help to identify those who might benefit from adjuvant treatment. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the tumor microenvironment-derived protein S100A8/A9 qualifies as prognostic marker for melanoma patients, also in the setting of immunotherapy. METHODS:S100A8/A9 gene and protein expression were analyzed on melanocytic nevi, primary melanomas and metastases using a cDNA library and three independent tissue-microarrays (TMA). Serum levels of S100A8/A9 were measured using a specific ELISA in two independent cohorts of 354 stage III and stage IV melanoma patients as well as in two independent cohorts of patients treated with the PD-1 antibody pembrolizumab. RESULTS:cDNA analysis revealed an upregulation of S100A8 and S100A9 gene expression in melanoma metastases compared to primary melanomas. Significantly higher numbers of infiltrating S100A8/A9 positive cells were found in tissue samples of metastasizing primary melanomas compared to non-metastasizing melanomas (P?<?.0001) and in melanomas of short-term survivors compared to long-term survivors (P?<?.0001). Serum S100A8/A9 levels >?5.5?mg/l were associated with impaired overall survival in two independent cohorts (both P?<?.0001). Importantly, patients with serum elevated S100A8/A9 treated with pembrolizumab showed significantly impaired survival compared to patients with lower S100A8/A9 levels (cohort 1: P?=?.0051; cohort 2: P?<?.0001). CONCLUSIONS:The tumor microenvironment-associated protein S100A8/A9 serves as a novel prognostic marker for metastasis and survival of metastatic melanoma patients and predicts response to immunotherapy with pembrolizumab. These data underscore the significance of tumor microenvironment-derived factors as suitable biomarkers for melanoma.
Project description:MiRNAs are increasingly recognized as biomarkers for the diagnosis of cancers where they are profiled from tumor tissue (intracellular miRNAs) or serum/plasma samples (extracellular miRNAs). To improve detection of reliable biomarkers from blood samples, we first compiled a healthy reference miRNome and established a well-controlled analysis pipeline allowing for standardized quantification of circulating miRNAs. Using whole miRNome and custom qPCR arrays, miRNA expression profiles were analyzed in 126 serum, whole blood and tissue samples of healthy volunteers and melanoma patients and in primary melanocyte and keratinocyte cell lines. We found characteristic signatures with excellent prognostic scores only in late stage but not in early stage melanoma patients. Upon comparison of melanoma tissue miRNomes with matching serum samples, several miRNAs were identified to be exclusively tissue-derived (miR-30b-5p, miR-374a-5p and others) while others had higher expression levels in serum (miR-3201 and miR-122-5p). Here we have compiled a healthy and widely applicable miRNome from serum samples and we provide strong evidence that levels of cell-free miRNAs only change significantly at later stages of melanoma progression, which has serious implications for miRNA biomarker studies in cancer.
Project description:Despite the success of immune checkpoint blockade in melanoma, the majority of patients do not respond. We hypothesized that the T and NK cell subset frequencies and expression levels of their receptors may predict responses and clinical outcome of anti-CTLA-4 treatment. We thus characterized the NK and T cell phenotype, as well as serum levels of several cytokines in 67 melanoma patients recruited in Italy and Sweden, using samples drawn prior to and during treatment. Survival correlated with low expression of the inhibitory receptor TIM-3 on circulating T and NK cells prior to and during treatment and with the increased frequency of mature circulating NK cells (defined as CD3-CD56dim CD16+) during treatment. Survival also correlated with low levels of IL-15 in the serum. Functional experiments in vitro demonstrated that sustained exposure to IL-15 enhanced the expression of PD-1 and TIM-3 on both T and NK cells, indicating a causative link between high IL-15 levels and enhanced expression of TIM-3 on these cells. Receptor blockade of TIM-3 improved NK cell-mediated elimination of melanoma metastasis cell lines in vitro. These observations may lead to the development of novel biomarkers to predict patient response to checkpoint blockade treatment. They also suggest that induction of additional checkpoints is a possibility that needs to be considered when treating melanoma patients with IL-15.
Project description:Cytokines such as Interleukin (IL)-12p70 ("IL-12") and IL-23 can influence tumor progression. We tested the hypothesis that blood levels of IL-12p40, the common subunit of both cytokines, are associated with melanoma progression. Blood from 2,048 white melanoma patients were collected at a single institution between March 1998 and March 2011. Plasma levels of IL-12p40 were determined for 573 patients (discovery), 249 patients (Validation 1) and 244 patients (Validation 2). Per 10-unit change of IL-12p40 level was used to investigate associations with melanoma patient outcome among all patients or among patients with early or advanced stage. Among stage I/II melanoma patients in the pooled data set, after adjustment for sex, age, stage and blood draw time from diagnosis, elevated IL-12p40 was associated with melanoma recurrence [hazard ratio (HR)?=?1.04 per 10-unit increase in IL-12p40, 95% CI 1.02-1.06, p?=?8.48 × 10(-5) ]; Elevated IL-12p40 was also associated with a poorer melanoma specific survival (HR?=?1.06, 95% CI 1.03-1.09, p?=?3.35 × 10(-5) ) and overall survival (HR?=?1.05, 95% CI 1.03-1.08, p?=?8.78×10(-7) ) in multivariate analysis. Among stage III/IV melanoma patients in the pooled data set, no significant association was detected between elevated IL-12p40 and overall survival, or with melanoma specific survival, with or without adjustment for the above covariates. Early stage melanoma patients with elevated IL-12p40 levels are more likely to develop disease recurrence and have a poorer survival. Further investigation with a larger sample size will be needed to determine the role of IL-12p40 in advanced stage melanoma patients.
Project description:Improved diagnostic screening has led to earlier detection of many tumors, but screening may still miss many aggressive tumor types. Proteomic and genomic profiling studies of breast cancer samples have identified tumor markers that may help improve screening for more aggressive, rapidly growing breast cancers. To identify potential blood-based biomarkers for the early detection of breast cancer, we assayed serum samples via matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry from a rat model of mammary carcinogenesis. We found elevated levels of a fragment of the protein dermcidin (DCD) to be associated with early progression of N-methylnitrosourea-induced breast cancer, demonstrating significance at weeks 4 (p = 0.045) and 5 (p = 0.004), a time period during which mammary pathologies rapidly progress from ductal hyperplasia to adenocarcinoma. The highest serum concentrations were observed in rats bearing palpable mammary carcinomas. Increased DCD was also detected with immunoblotting methods in 102 serum samples taken from women just prior to breast cancer diagnosis. To validate these findings in a larger population, we applied a 32-gene in vitro DCD response signature to a dataset of 295 breast tumors and assessed correlation with intrinsic breast cancer subtypes and overall survival. The DCD-derived gene signature was significantly associated with subtype (p < 0.001) and poorer overall survival [HR (95 % CI) = 1.60 (1.01-2.51), p = 0.044]. In conclusion, these results present novel evidence that DCD levels may increase in early carcinogenesis, particularly among more aggressive forms of breast cancer.
Project description:Melanoma is among the most aggressive tumors, and the occurrence of metastasis leads to a precipitous drop in the patients' survival. Therefore, identification of metastasis-associated biomarkers and therapeutic targets will contribute a lot to improving melanoma theranostics. Recently, microRNAs (miRNAs) have been implicated in modulating cancer invasion and metastasis, and are proved as potential non-invasive biomarkers in sera for various tumors. Here, we reported miR-23a as a novel metastasis-associated miRNA that played a remarkable role in modulating melanoma invasive and metastatic capacity and was of great value in predicting melanoma metastasis and prognosis. We found that serum miR-23a level was significantly down-regulated in metastatic melanoma patients and highly correlated with poor clinical outcomes. In addition, miR-23a level was also remarkably decreased in metastatic melanoma tissues and cell lines. Furthermore, overexpressed miR-23a suppressed the invasive and migratory property of melanoma cells by abrogating autophagy through directly targeting ATG12. Specially, miR-23a-ATG12 axis attenuated melanoma invasion and migration through autophagy-mediated AMPK-RhoA pathway. Finally, the overexpression of miR-23a prevented melanoma metastasis in vivo. Taken together, our findings demonstrate that the metastasis-associated miR-23a is not only a potential biomarker, but also a valuable therapeutic target for melanoma.
Project description:The overall 5-year survival for melanoma is 91%. However, if distant metastasis occurs (stage IV), cure rates are < 15%. Hence, melanoma detection in earlier stages (stages I-III) maximises the chances of patient survival. We measured the expression of a panel of 17 microRNAs (miRNAs) (MELmiR-17) in melanoma tissues (stage III; n = 76 and IV; n = 10) and serum samples (collected from controls with no melanoma, n = 130; and patients with melanoma (stages I/II, n = 86; III, n = 50; and IV, n = 119)) obtained from biobanks in Australia and Germany. In melanoma tissues, members of the 'MELmiR-17' panel were found to be predictors of stage, recurrence, and survival. Additionally, in a minimally-invasive blood test, a seven-miRNA panel (MELmiR-7) detected the presence of melanoma (relative to controls) with high sensitivity (93%) and specificity (? 82%) when ? 4 miRNAs were expressed. Moreover, the 'MELmiR-7' panel characterised overall survival of melanoma patients better than both serum LDH and S100B (delta log likelihood = 11, p < 0.001). This panel was found to be superior to currently used serological markers for melanoma progression, recurrence, and survival; and would be ideally suited to monitor tumour progression in patients diagnosed with early metastatic disease (stages IIIa-c/IV M1a-b) to detect relapse following surgical or adjuvant treatment.
Project description:PURPOSE:To evaluate the results of restaging completely resected stage IIIB/C melanoma prior to start of adjuvant therapy. PATIENTS AND METHODS:One hundred twenty patients with stage IIIB or IIIC (AJCC 2009) melanoma who underwent complete surgical resection were screened for inclusion in our trial investigating adjuvant dendritic cell therapy (NCT02993315). All patients underwent imaging to exclude local relapse or metastasis before entering the trial. The frequency of recurrent disease within 12 weeks after resection and the method of detection were investigated. RESULTS:Sixty-nine (58%) stage IIIB and 51 (43%) stage IIIC melanoma patients were screened. Median age was 54 (range 27-79) years. Twenty-two (18%) of 120 patients with completely resected stage IIIB/C melanoma had evidence of early recurrent disease, despite exclusion thereof by prior imaging. Median interval between resection and detection of relapse was 7.4 (range 4.3-10.7) weeks. Recurrence was asymptomatic in 17 (77%) patients, but metastasis was noticed by the patient or physician in 5 (23%). Eight patients with local relapse received local treatment with curative intent, and one was treated with systemic therapy. The remaining patients had distant metastasis, 1 of whom underwent resection of a solitary liver metastasis while 12 patients received systemic treatment. CONCLUSIONS:Patients with completely resected stage IIIB/C melanoma have high risk of early recurrence before start of adjuvant therapy. Restaging should be considered for high-risk melanoma patients before start of adjuvant therapy.