Enhancement of antiviral CD8+ T-cell responses and complete remission of metastatic melanoma in an HIV-1-infected subject treated with pembrolizumab

Enhancement of antiviral CD8+ T-cell responses and complete remission of metastatic melanoma in an HIV-1-infected subject treated with pembrolizumab

Data de publicació online: 01/12/2019 Revista: Journal of Clinical Medicine

Abstract:

BACKGROUND:

Pembrolizumab is an immune checkpoint inhibitor against programmed cell death protein-1 (PD-1) approved for therapy in metastatic melanoma. PD-1 expression is associated with a diminished functionality in HIV-1 specific-CD8+ T cells. It is thought that PD-1 blockade could contribute to reinvigorate antiviral immunity and reduce the HIV-1 reservoir.

METHODS:

Upon metastatic melanoma diagnosis, an HIV-1-infected individual on stable suppressive antiretroviral regimen was treated with pembrolizumab. A PET-CT was performed before and one year after pembrolizumab initiation. We monitored changes in the immunophenotype and HIV-1 specific-CD8+ T-cell responses during 36 weeks of treatment. Furthermore, we assessed changes in the viral reservoir by total HIV-1 DNA, cell-associated HIV-1 RNA, and ultrasensitive plasma viral load.

RESULTS:

Complete metabolic response was achieved after pembrolizumab treatment of metastatic melanoma. Activated CD8+ T-cells expressing HLA-DR+/CD38+ transiently increased over the first nine weeks of treatment. Concomitantly, there was an augmented response of HIV-1 specific-CD8+ T cells with TNF production and poly-functionality, transitioning from TNF to an IL-2 profile. Furthermore, a transient reduction of 24% and 32% in total HIV-1 DNA was observed at weeks 3 and 27, respectively, without changes in other markers of viral persistence.

CONCLUSIONS:

These data demonstrate that pembrolizumab may enhance the HIV-1 specific-CD8+ T-cell response, marginally affecting the HIV-1 reservoir. A transient increase of CD8+ T-cell activation, TNF production, and poly-functionality resulted from PD-1 blockade. However, the lack of sustained changes in the viral reservoir suggests that viral reactivation is needed concomitantly with HIV-1-specific immune enhancement.

Autors: Oscar Blanch-Lombarte, Cristina Gálvez, Boris Revollo, Esther Jiménez-Moyano,J osep M. Llibre, José Luís Manzano, Aram Boada, Judith Dalmau, Daniel E. Speiser, Bonaventura Clotet, Julia G. Prado andJavier Martinez-Picado 

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