Article Text

Download PDFPDF

394 Interleukin-8–neutralizing monoclonal antibody BMS-986253 plus nivolumab (NIVO) in biomarker-enriched, primarily anti–PD-(L)1–experienced patients with advanced cancer: initial phase 1 results
  1. Diwakar Davar1,
  2. Matteo Simonelli2,
  3. Martin Gutierrez3,
  4. Emiliano Calvo4,
  5. Jason Melear5,
  6. Sarina Piha-Paul6,
  7. Donald Richards5,
  8. Matthew Dallos7,
  9. Janaki Parameswaran8,
  10. Vinit Kumar8,
  11. Xiaochen Zhao8,
  12. Santanu Dutta8 and
  13. Ignacio Melero9
  1. 1University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
  2. 2Humanitas University; Humanitas Cancer Center – Humanitas Research Hospital, Milan, Italy
  3. 3Hackensack University Medical Center, Hackensack, NJ, USA
  4. 4START Madrid-CIOCC, Centro Integral Oncológico Clara Campal, Madrid, Spain
  5. 5Texas Oncology, US Oncology Research, Austin, TX, USA
  6. 6The University of Texas, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX, USA
  7. 7Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, USA
  8. 8Bristol Myers Squibb, Princeton, NJ, USA
  9. 9Universidad de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain


Background Interleukin 8 (IL-8) is a C-X-C chemokine that exerts protumorigenic effects in the tumor microenvironment, including recruiting immunosuppressive PMN-MDSCs and promoting angiogenesis.1–3 Elevated serum IL-8 (sIL-8) is a negative prognostic indicator in patients with solid tumors and may have predictive value in patients treated with immunotherapies.2 4 5 BMS-986253, a fully human-sequence IgG1κ anti–IL-8 monoclonal antibody, binds IL-8 and prevents signaling through CXCR1/CXCR2 and has been shown to be safe in patients with advanced cancers.3 We present initial results of BMS-986253 + NIVO from a phase 1/2a trial in patients with advanced cancers who had detectable sIL-8 levels, the majority of whom had progressed on/after prior anti–PD-(L)1 (NCT03400332).

Methods During safety evaluation/dose exploration, patients with advanced metastatic solid tumors (melanoma, NSCLC, SCCHN, RCC, or UCC) and detectable sIL-8 (>10 pg/mL at screening) received BMS-986253 600 (n=16), 1200 (n=15), or 2400 mg (n=18) Q4W, or 1200 (n=12) or 2400 mg (n=59) Q2W, + NIVO 480 mg intravenously Q4W. Safety, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and preliminary antitumor activity were evaluated (investigator-assessed, RECIST v1.1).

Results As of March 20, 2020, 120 patients (median age, 63 years [range, 35–87 years]) received BMS-986253 + NIVO; 97% of patients received prior anti–PD-(L)1 therapy, and 25% received prior anti–CTLA-4 therapy. BMS-986253 + NIVO was well tolerated with no dose-limiting toxicities observed. Most TRAEs were grade 1–2. The most common (≥5% of patients) TRAEs (any grade; grade 3–4) were fatigue (9%; 1%), nausea (7%; 0%), rash/rash maculopapular (6%; 0%), pruritus (5%; 0%), and decreased appetite (5%; 0%). Grade 3–4 serious TRAEs were reported in 2 patients (infusion-related reaction, BMS-986253 2400 mg Q2W + NIVO; AST/ALT increased, BMS-986253 1200 mg Q4W + NIVO). BMS-986253 exposure increased dose proportionally and was not altered with NIVO. BMS-986253 resulted in dose-dependent reductions in free sIL-8 levels, with tumor IL-8 suppression detected in most patients evaluated; additional pharmacodynamic endpoints will be presented. Partial responses were observed in multiple tumor types, including 5 of 28 patients with melanoma who had progressed on/after prior anti–PD-(L)1; 4 of the 5 patients were also previously treated with anti–CTLA-4.

Conclusions BMS-986253 + NIVO demonstrated a tolerable safety profile with dose-proportional pharmacokinetics and robust sIL-8 suppression. Preliminary antitumor activity was observed across a range of doses/regimens in this biomarker-enriched, anti–PD-(L)1–experienced, heterogeneous patient population with advanced cancers. These findings support further evaluation of BMS-986253 in select advanced tumors.

Acknowledgements The authors acknowledge Dr Charles Drake while at Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, USA, for his contributions to the study.

Trial Registration NCT03400332

Ethics Approval This study was approved by the WCG Independent Review Board, approval number 20172711.


  1. David JM, Dominguez C, Hamilton DH, et al. The IL-8/IL-8R axis: a double agent in tumor immune resistance. Vaccines (Basel) 2016;4:22.

  2. Schalper KA, Carleton M, Zhou M, et al. Elevated serum interleukin-8 is associated with enhanced intratumor neutrophils and reduced clinical benefit of immune-checkpoint inhibitors. Nat Med. 2020;26:688–692.

  3. Bilusic M, Heery CR, Collin JM, et al. Phase I trial of HuMax-IL-8 (BMS-986253), an anti–IL-8 monoclonal antibody, in patients with metastatic or unresectable solid tumors. J Immunother Cancer 2019;7:240.

  4. Yuen KC, Liu L-F, Gupta V, et al. High systemic and tumor-associated IL-8 correlates with reduced clinical benefit of PD-L1 blockade. Nat Med 2020;26:683–698.

  5. Sanmamed MF, Perez-Gracia JL, Schalper KA, et al. Changes in serum interleukin-8 (IL-8) levels reflect and predict response to anti–PD-1 treatment in melanoma and non-small-cell lung cancer patients. Ann Oncol 2017;28:1988–1995.

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to copy, redistribute, remix, transform and build upon this work for any purpose, provided the original work is properly cited, a link to the licence is given, and indication of whether changes were made. See:

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.