Thoracic metastasectomy for adoptive immunotherapy of melanoma: A single-institution experience

Jacob A. Klapper, Jeremy L. Davis, R. Taylor Ripley, Franz O. Smith, Dao M. Nguyen, King F. Kwong, Leandro Mercedes, Clinton D. Kemp, Aarti Mathur, Donald E. White, Mark E. Dudley, John R. Wunderlich, Steven A. Rosenberg, David S. Schrump

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objectives: Although refractory to chemotherapy, metastatic melanoma may respond to adoptive immunotherapy. As novel treatments evolve, surgeons may be asked to perform metastasectomy not only for palliation or potential cure but also for isolation of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes. This study was undertaken to examine outcomes of patients with melanoma undergoing thoracic metastasectomy in preparation for investigational immunotherapy. Methods: A retrospective review identified 107 consecutive patients who underwent 116 thoracic metastasectomy procedures from April 1998 to July 2009. Indications for surgical intervention included procurement of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, rendering of patients to no evaluable disease status, palliation, and diagnosis. Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors criteria were used to assess tumor response. Results: Thoracotomy, lobectomy, and video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery with nonanatomic resection were the most common procedures. Major complications included 1 death and 1 coagulopathy-induced hemothorax. Seventeen patients were rendered to no evaluable disease status. Virtually all patients with residual disease had tumor specimens cultured for tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes; approximately 70% of tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte cultures exhibited antitumor reactivity. Of the 91 patients with residual or recurrent disease, 24 (26%) underwent adoptive cell transfer of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, of whom 7 exhibited objective responses (29% response rate and 8% based on intent to treat). Rapid disease progression precluded tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte therapy in most cases. Actuarial 1- and 5-year survival rates for patients rendered to no evaluable disease status or receiving or not receiving tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes were 93% and 76%, 64% and 33%, and 43% and 0%, respectively. Conclusions: Relatively few patients currently having thoracic metastasectomy undergo adoptive cell transfer. Continued refinement of tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte expansion protocols and improved patient selection might increase the number of patients with melanoma benefiting from these interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1276-1282
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • ACT
  • Adoptive cell transfer
  • IL-2
  • Interleukin 2
  • NED
  • NMA
  • No evaluable disease
  • Nonmyeloablation
  • TBI
  • TIL
  • Total-body irradiation
  • Tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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