A Biomarker Study in Advanced Mucosal or Acral Lentiginous Melanoma Receiving Nivolumab in Combination With Ipilimumab

Study Purpose

Participants with advanced or metastatic mucosal melanoma (cohort A) and acral lentiginous melanoma (cohort B) eligible for treatment with nivolumab in combination with ipilimumab followed by nivolumab therapy will submit tissue blocks from tumors of malignant melanoma for histopathology review and immunohistochemistry analysis at Georgetown University-Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. Pretreatment blood will be drawn and stored in the Melanoma Research Foundation Breakthrough Consortium Virtual Repository at each participating institution. At the end of participation, samples will be sent to Georgetown University-Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center for processing and storage. An optional pretreatment biopsy of an accessible tumor lesion will be performed in a subset of enrolled patients. Patients will receive nivolumab in combination with ipilimumab according to the standard FDA approved treatment regimen.

Recruitment Criteria

Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Healthy volunteers are participants who do not have a disease or condition, or related conditions or symptoms

Study Type

An interventional clinical study is where participants are assigned to receive one or more interventions (or no intervention) so that researchers can evaluate the effects of the interventions on biomedical or health-related outcomes.

An observational clinical study is where participants identified as belonging to study groups are assessed for biomedical or health outcomes.

Searching Both is inclusive of interventional and observational studies.

Eligible Ages 18 Years and Over
Gender All
More Inclusion & Exclusion Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • - Patients must have histologically confirmed MCM or ALM that is metastatic or unresectable.
  • - Patients must be eligible to receive nivolumab in combination with ipilimumab treatment per institutional guidelines.
  • - Patients must have a tissue block (or 20 unstained slides) available with adequate tumor to perform multiplex immunohistochemistry and nucleic acids analyses ( i.e. whole exome sequencing) Patients with only a previous fine-needle aspirate are ineligible for enrollment.
  • - Patients must be willing to donate a small amount of whole blood prior to treatment and during treatment for laboratory analysis.
  • - Patients must give informed consent prior to initiation of therapy.
  • - Patients must be ambulatory with good performance status (ECOG 0 or 1)

    Exclusion Criteria:

    - Patients who do not have available tissue for immunohistochemistry and nucleic acids analyses.
  • - Patients who have received prior immunotherapy for unresectable or metastatic disease.
  • - Patients with untreated brain metastases, leptomeningeal disease, or seizure disorders are ineligible.
Patients with a history of brain metastases must have completed treatment (i.e. surgery or radiation) 1 month prior to enrollment and have no evidence of disease or edema on brain CT or head MRI.
  • - Patients with inadequate tissue for analysis.

Trial Details

Trial ID:

This trial id was obtained from ClinicalTrials.gov, a service of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, providing information on publicly and privately supported clinical studies of human participants with locations in all 50 States and in 196 countries.


Phase 1: Studies that emphasize safety and how the drug is metabolized and excreted in humans.

Phase 2: Studies that gather preliminary data on effectiveness (whether the drug works in people who have a certain disease or condition) and additional safety data.

Phase 3: Studies that gather more information about safety and effectiveness by studying different populations and different dosages and by using the drug in combination with other drugs.

Phase 4: Studies occurring after FDA has approved a drug for marketing, efficacy, or optimal use.

Phase 2
Lead Sponsor

The sponsor is the organization or person who oversees the clinical study and is responsible for analyzing the study data.

Georgetown University
Principal Investigator

The person who is responsible for the scientific and technical direction of the entire clinical study.

Suthee Rapisuwon, MD
Principal Investigator Affiliation Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center
Agency Class

Category of organization(s) involved as sponsor (and collaborator) supporting the trial.

Overall Status Recruiting
Countries United States

The disease, disorder, syndrome, illness, or injury that is being studied.

Acral Lentiginous Melanoma, Mucosal Melanoma
Additional Details

Immunotherapy with HD-IL-2 has produced durable benefit in 10% of patients with metastatic cutaneous melanoma. The antitumor activity of IL-2 has been limited at least in part by immunosuppressive and immune-regulatory forces within the tumor microenvironment. Antibodies against CTLA4 (e.g. ipilimumab), PD1 and its ligand (PD-L1) produced long-term benefit in approximately 20-40% of patients with advanced melanoma. In addition, the combination of ipilimumab with the anti-PD1 antibody, nivolumab, has shown tumor responses in up to 60% of patients with advanced melanoma. These findings have led to FDA approval of ipilimumab and nivolumab as an indication for treatment of patients with advanced melanoma and nivolumab for other cancers. While these data are exciting, only a few patients enrolled to the prior studies had metastatic MCM or ALM. There is no prospective immunotherapy studies conducted in MCM or ALM-specific population. Therefore the activity of the ipilimumab + nivolumab combination in these subsets or patients remains unknown Reliable predictive biomarkers for the use of immune checkpoint inhibitors are needed to identify pretreatment those patients most likely to respond and early on in treatment assays could help identify mechanisms of tumor response and resistance necessary to improve therapy. Although tumor PD-L1 expression in tumor confers higher treatment response rate, responses to nivolumab or nivolumab + ipilimumab alone were noted in 55% and 41% of patients, respectively, with PD-L1- tumors. Therefore, more reliable predictive biomarkers are needed. Recently, extensive studies on metastatic colorectal cancer have demonstrated that a new scoring system as well as density of immune cells infiltrates at the center of the tumor and its invasive margin, described as Immunoscore, could accurately separate a group of patients with high Immunoscore with improved DFS, and OS from those with low Immunoscore where the histopathological staging system cannot. A recent study has also demonstrated relationship between degree of pre-treatment CD8+ tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) infiltration and PD-L1 expression at the invasive margin of the advanced cutaneous melanoma and improved long-term clinical benefits in patients with advanced melanoma who received pembrolizumab monotherapy. Further, there appeared to be an association between tumor response and clonality of the immune infiltrate based on a next-generation sequencing method used to evaluate T-cell receptor rearrangement pre- and in response to checkpoint inhibitor therapy. Also, high mutational burden correlated with overall survival in patients with cutaneous melanoma treated with ipilimumab or lung cancer treated with anti-PD1. However, the biology of MCM and ALM are distinct from cutaneous melanoma at multiple levels. Consequently, the utility of predictive biomarkers developed for cutaneous melanoma remains unknown.

Contact a Trial Team

If you are interested in learning more about this trial, find the trial site nearest to your location and contact the site coordinator via email or phone. We also strongly recommend that you consult with your healthcare provider about the trials that may interest you and refer to our terms of service below.

Hackensack, New Jersey




John Theurer Cacner Center at Hackensack University Medical Center

Hackensack, New Jersey, 07601

Site Contact

Danielle Blair, RN



Tampa, Florida




H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute

Tampa, Florida, 33612

Site Contact

Valerie Moberg



Washington, District of Columbia




Washington Cancer Institute at MedStar Washington Hospital Center

Washington, District of Columbia, 20010

Site Contact

Okelue Okobi



Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Washington, District of Columbia




Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center

Washington, District of Columbia, 20007

Site Contact

Paveen Keshtmand, RN



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