iToBoS in American Society of Clinical Oncology Meetings 2023

Chicago, 31/05 – 03/06/2023.

iToBoS consortium members Bettina Ryll and Violeta Astratinei attended this year’s annual conference of the American Society of Oncology, ASCO2023, that took place 31st May- 3rd June 2023 in Chicago.

Despite the considerable progress in Melanoma during the last decade that saw 5 year overall survival rise from 5 to over 50%, options for Stage 4 Melanoma past the first two lines of treatment that would increase survival in that setting further remain limited, making earlier detection and effective earlier intervention a priority.

ASCO’s Melanoma highlight was the presentation of KEYNOTE-942, a neo-antigen trial combining MSD's Pembrolizumab with Moderna's BNT-4157 in the adjuvant setting for fully resected patients at high risk of relapse with Stage III and IV Melanoma that showed prolonged relapse-free survival in the combination versus mono-therapy with the checkpoint inhibitor. Read a full commentary here

KEYNOTE-942 had already been presented at AACR earlier this year, abstract, raising expectations and BNT-4157 is only one of the many neo-antigen based cancer vaccines currently tested. In this context, an interesting poster, abstract #413298, highlighted the presence of neo-antigen selection under therapy as out-of-frame mutations are negatively selected for, with implications for the design and use of neo-antigen based therapies during different stages of disease.

Already KEYNOTE 716 had shown that in patients with stage IIB/IIC melanoma and after about 40 months follow-up, adjuvant pembrolizumab in patients with Stage IIB/IIC Melanoma significantly improved distant-metastasis free survival and relapse-free survival, now with a follow-up of around continued to demonstrate significant improvements over placebo in DMFS and RFS after a median follow-up of 39.4 months. Read a full commentary here.

As therapies move from the Stage IV to the Stage III and increasingly also, high-risk Stage II setting and new therapies- such as the Moderna neo-antigen based vaccines now reported at ASCO- are becoming available and show promising results, detection at these stages of disease becomes one of the critical factors, highlighting once more the importance of projects like iToBoS.

Find out more at ASCO2023.