Overall Survival Benefit with Tebentafusp in Metastatic Uveal Melanoma

Author(s): Paul Nathan, M.D., Ph.D., Jessica C. Hassel, M.D., Piotr Rutkowski, M.D., Ph.D., Jean-Francois Baurain, M.D., Ph.D., Marcus O. Butler, M.D., Max Schlaak, M.D., Ryan J. Sullivan, M.D., Sebastian Ochsenreither, M.D., Reinhard Dummer, M.D., John M. Kirkwood, M.D., Anthony M. Joshua, M.D., Ph.D., Joseph J. Sacco, M.D., Ph.D., et al., for the IMCgp100-202 Investigators*
Source: September 23, 2021 N Engl J Med 2021; 385:1196-1206 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa2103485
Lucio Gordan MD

Dr. Lucio Gordan's Thoughts

Incredible development for a small population of patients with uveal melanoma but nonetheless a new standard of care. Initial infusions may be complex in terms of close monitoring, as inpatient, till more experience is acquired in community oncology practices.



Uveal melanoma is a disease that is distinct from cutaneous melanoma, with a low tumor mutational burden and a 1-year overall survival of approximately 50% in patients with metastatic uveal melanoma. Data showing a proven overall survival benefit with a systemic treatment are lacking. Tebentafusp is a bispecific protein consisting of an affinity-enhanced T-cell receptor fused to an anti-CD3 effector that can redirect T cells to target glycoprotein 100–positive cells.


Overall Survival Benefit with Tebentafusp in Metastatic Uveal MelanomaIn this open-label, phase 3 trial, we randomly assigned previously untreated HLA-A*02:01–positive patients with metastatic uveal melanoma in a 2:1 ratio to receive tebentafusp (tebentafusp group) or the investigator’s choice of therapy with single-agent pembrolizumab, ipilimumab, or dacarbazine (control group), stratified according to the lactate dehydrogenase level. The primary end point was overall survival.


A total of 378 patients were randomly assigned to either the tebentafusp group (252 patients) or the control group (126 patients). Overall survival at 1 year was 73% in the tebentafusp group and 59% in the control group (hazard ratio for death, 0.51; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.37 to 0.71; P<0.001) in the intention-to-treat population. Progression-free survival was also significantly higher in the tebentafusp group than in the control group (31% vs. 19% at 6 months; hazard ratio for disease progression or death, 0.73; 95% CI, 0.58 to 0.94; P=0.01). The most common treatment-related adverse events in the tebentafusp group were cytokine-mediated events (due to T-cell activation) and skin-related events (due to glycoprotein 100–positive melanocytes), including rash (83%), pyrexia (76%), and pruritus (69%). These adverse events decreased in incidence and severity after the first three or four doses and infrequently led to discontinuation of the trial treatment (2%). No treatment-related deaths were reported.


Treatment with tebentafusp resulted in longer overall survival than the control therapy among previously untreated patients with metastatic uveal melanoma. (Funded by Immunocore; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT03070392. opens in new tab; EudraCT number, 2015-003153-18. opens in new tab.)

Author Affiliations

From Mount Vernon Cancer Centre, Northwood (P.N.), the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre NHS Foundation Trust, Wirral (J.J.S.), the University of Liverpool, Liverpool (J.J.S.), and Immunocore, Abingdon (S.E.A., C.H., H.G.) — all in the United Kingdom; the Department of Dermatology and the National Center for Tumor Diseases, University Hospital Heidelberg, Heidelberg (J.C.H.), the Department of Dermatology and Allergy, University Hospital, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Munich (M.S.), the Department of Hematology and Oncology, Charité–Comprehensive Cancer Center (S.O.), Berlin, and the Department of Dermatology and the Center for Integrated Oncology, University Hospital Cologne, Cologne (C.M.) — all in Germany; Maria Sklodowska-Curie National Research Institute of Oncology, Warsaw, Poland (P.R.); Institut Roi Albert II des Cliniques Universitaires Saint-Luc and Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels (J.-F.B.); Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Toronto (M.O.B.); Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Boston (R.J.S.); the Department of Dermatology, University Hospital of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland (R.D.); Hillman Cancer Center, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh (J.M.K.); Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia (M.O.); Kinghorn Cancer Centre, Saint Vincent’s Hospital, Darlinghurst, NSW, Australia (A.M.J.); Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (A.N.S.) and Irving Medical Center, Columbia University (R.D.C.) — both in New York; Institut d’Investigació Biomèdica de Bellvitge–Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Oncología, Institut Català d’Oncologia, Barcelona (J.M.P.); University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City (M.M.); Duke University, Durham, NC (A.K.S.S.); Earle A. Chiles Research Institute, Providence Cancer Institute, Portland, OR (B.C.); N.N. Blokhin Cancer Research Center, Moscow (L.D.); Centre Antoine Lacassagne, Nice (L.G.) and Institut Curie, Paris Sciences and Letters Research University, Paris (S.P.-N.) — both in France; Winship Cancer Institute, Emory University, Atlanta (M.Y.); and the Angeles Clinic and Research Institute, a Cedars–Sinai Affiliate, Los Angeles (O.H.).

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