T-VEC for stage IIIB-IVM1a melanoma achieves high rates of complete and durable responses and is associated with tumor load: a clinical prediction model.



Talimogene laherparepvec (T-VEC) is a genetically modified herpes simplex type 1 virus and known as an effective oncolytic immunotherapy for injectable cutaneous, subcutaneous and nodal melanoma lesions in stage IIIB-IVM1a patients. This study set out to identify prognostic factors for achieving a complete response that can be used to optimize patient selection for T-VEC monotherapy.


This study shows that intralesional T-VEC monotherapy is able to achieve high complete and durable responses. The prediction model shows that use of T-VEC in patients with less tumor burden is associated with better outcomes, suggesting use earlier in the course of the disease.


A total of 93 patients were included with a median age of 69 years, median follow-up time was 16.6 months. As best response, 58 patients (62%) had a CR, and the overall response rate was 79%. The durable response rate (objective response lasting > 6 months) was 51%. Grade 1-2 AEs occurred in almost every patient. Tumor size, type of metastases, prior treatment with systemic therapy and stage (8Th AJCC) were independent prognostic factors for achieving CR. The prediction model includes the predictors tumor size, type of metastases and number of lesions.


Patients with stage IIIB-IVM1a melanoma, treated with T-VEC at the Netherlands Cancer Institute between 2016-12 and 2020-01 with a follow-up time > 6 months, were included. Data were collected on baseline characteristics, responses and adverse events (AEs). Uni- and multivariable analyses were conducted, and a prediction model was developed to identify prognostic factors associated with CR.

More about this publication

Cancer immunology, immunotherapy : CII
  • Volume 70
  • Issue nr. 8
  • Pages 2291-2300
  • Publication date 01-08-2021

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