A Phase II Randomized Study of Adjuvant Versus NeoAdjuvant MK-3475 (Pembrolizumab) for Clinically Detectable Stage III-IV High-Risk Melanoma

This phase II trial studies how pembrolizumab works before and after surgery in treating patients with stage III-IV high-risk melanoma. Immunotherapy with monoclonal antibodies, such as pembrolizumab, may help the body's immune system attack the cancer, and may interfere with the ability of tumor cells to grow and spread. Giving pembrolizumab before and after surgery may work better in treating melanoma.

Key Eligibility:
•Patients must have resectable melanoma in order to be eligible for this study. Patients must have clinically detectable Stage III (clinically detectable N1b, N1c, N2b, N2c, N3b and N3c) or Stage IV resectable melanoma. Patients with melanoma of mucosal or acral origin are eligible. Patients with melanoma of uveal origin are not eligible. Patients with a history of brain metastases are not eligible. Clinically detectable is defined as disease that is apparent and measurable via physical examination or radiographic imaging.
•Patients are eligible for this trial either at initial presentation of their melanoma or at the time of the first detected nodal, satellite/in-transit, distant metastases, or recurrent disease in prior lymphadenectomy basin or distant site. Nodal, satellite/in-transit metastasis, distant metastases or disease in a prior complete lymphadenectomy basin must have been confirmed histologically by hematoxylin (H) & eosin (E) stained slides.
•Patients with multiple regional nodal basin involvement are eligible. Gross or microscopic extracapsular nodal extension is permitted.
•Patients must not have received previous neoadjuvant treatment for their melanoma. Patients may have received prior non-immunotherapy adjuvant therapy. Patients must not have had prior immunotherapy including, but not limited to ipilimumab, interferon alfa-2b, high dose, pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN), anti-PD-1, anti-PD-L1 intra-tumoral, or vaccine therapies. Patients must not be planning to receive any of the prohibited therapies during treatment phases on the study.
•Patients must not be planning to receive concomitant other biologic therapy, hormonal therapy, other chemotherapy, surgery, while on protocol therapy.
•Patients may have received prior radiation therapy, including after prior surgical resection. All adverse events associated with prior surgery and radiation therapy must have resolved to =< Grade 1 prior to randomization.
•All patients must have disease status documented by a complete physical examination and imaging studies within 42 days prior to randomization. Imaging studies must include a total body positron emission tomography (PET)-computerized tomography (CT) scan that is of diagnostic quality with iodine contrast-enhanced images (with or without brain) or a CT of the chest, abdomen and pelvis with intravenous contrast. For patients with melanoma arising from the head and neck, dedicated neck imaging (CT with intravenous contrast or iodine contrast-enhanced PET-CT through the region) is required. If the patient has unknown primary with disease in the axilla, neck imaging is required to assure region is clear of cancer. CT imaging should be done with intravenous contrast if there are no contraindications for it. Any other clinically-indicated imaging studies if performed (e.g. bone scan) must show no evidence of disease.
•All patients must have a CT or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain within 42 days prior to randomization. The brain CT or MRI should be performed with intravenous contrast (unless contraindicated).
•Absolute neutrophil count (ANC) >= 1,500/microliter (mcL) (within 42 days prior to randomization).
Phase III
Cutaneous (skin)
Gary Goodman, M.D.
SWOG (Southwest Oncology Group)
Chris Fountain

The Pacific Cancer Research Consortium clinical trials are offered at multiple locations throughout Oregon, Washington, Alaska, California, and Idaho. To find a location near you, please contact the Patient Engagement Center at 844-552-2734.