John B A G Haanen

Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdamo, North Holland, Netherlands

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Publications (141)1074.24 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In this study, we investigated a large series of immune (escape) markers, relevant to T-cell function, as potential biomarkers for clinical outcome following immunotherapy. We retrospectively studied the expression of immune (escape) markers in metastatic melanoma tissues of 27 patients before autologous tumor cell vaccination, and 16 patients who were intended to treat but were not vaccinated because of rapid disease progression. Immunohistochemical data of infiltrating (suppressive) cells, such as T cells, regulatory T cells, myeloid-derived suppressor cells, and mast cells, or the expression of T-cell inhibitory factors (PD-1/PD-L1, IDO, and galectins), cytotoxic molecules (granzyme-B), melanocyte differentiation antigens, HLA class-I and tolerogenic cytokines [interleukin (IL)-1, IL-6, IL-10, TNF-α, and TGF-β] were correlated statistically to clinical outcome and overall survival (OS). Significantly more tumor-infiltrating CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells (both P < 0.05) were found in nonprogressors to vaccination (n = 9; median OS, 56 months), compared with progressors (n = 18; median OS, 9.5 months). Moreover, granzyme-B expression was elevated in the tumors of nonprogressors, suggesting activated cytotoxic T cells or natural killer cells. T-cell infiltration and granzyme-B expression significantly correlated with overall OS. T-cell inhibitory factors and suppressive cells did not correlate with OS, suggesting minor influence of these immune-escape markers on clinical outcome. The data of progressors were comparable with those from patients with rapid progression (not vaccinated; n = 16; median OS, 3 months). Our study shows that high numbers of intratumoral activated CD4(+) or CD8(+) T cells, before autologous tumor cell vaccination, are associated with favorable clinical outcome. Analyses of these markers in the patients' tumor tissues before immunotherapy may therefore be a valuable tool to select patients for whom the treatment may result in potential clinical benefit. Cancer Immunol Res; 2(6); 538-46. ©2014 AACR.
    Cancer immunology research. 06/2014; 2(6):538-46.
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    ABSTRACT: Background:Plasma exposure of sunitinib shows large inter-individual variation. Therefore, a pharmacokinetic (PK) study was performed to determine safety and feasibility of sunitinib dosing based on PK levels.Methods:Patients were treated with sunitinib 37.5 mg once daily. At days 15 and 29 of treatment, plasma trough levels of sunitinib and N-desethyl sunitinib were measured. If the total trough level (TTL) was <50 ng ml(-1) and the patient did not show any grade 3 toxicity, the daily sunitinib dose was increased by 12.5 mg. If the patient suffered from grade 3 toxicity, the sunitinib dose was lowered by 12.5 mg.Results:Twenty-nine out of 43 patients were evaluable for PK assessments. Grade 3 adverse events were experienced in seven patients (24%) at the starting dose and in nine patients (31%) after dose escalation. TTLs were below target in 15 patients (52%) at the starting dose. Of these, five patients (17%) reached target TTL after dose escalation without additional toxicity.Conclusions:In a third of the patients that were below target TTL at standard dose, the sunitinib dose could be increased without additional toxicities. This could be the basis for future studies and the implementation of a PK-guided dosing strategy in clinical practice.British Journal of Cancer advance online publication, 15 April 2014; doi:10.1038/bjc.2014.194 www.bjcancer.com.
    British Journal of Cancer 04/2014; · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Treatment of BRAF(V600E) mutant melanoma by small molecule drugs that target the BRAF or MEK kinases can be effective, but resistance develops invariably1, 2. In contrast, colon cancers that harbour the same BRAF(V600E) mutation are intrinsically resistant to BRAF inhibitors, due to feedback activation of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)3, 4. Here we show that 6 out of 16 melanoma tumours analysed acquired EGFR expression after the development of resistance to BRAF or MEK inhibitors. Using a chromatin-regulator-focused short hairpin RNA (shRNA) library, we find that suppression of sex determining region Y-box 10 (SOX10) in melanoma causes activation of TGF-β signalling, thus leading to upregulation of EGFR and platelet-derived growth factor receptor-β (PDGFRB), which confer resistance to BRAF and MEK inhibitors. Expression of EGFR in melanoma or treatment with TGF-β results in a slow-growth phenotype with cells displaying hallmarks of oncogene-induced senescence. However, EGFR expression or exposure to TGF-β becomes beneficial for proliferation in the presence of BRAF or MEK inhibitors. In a heterogeneous population of melanoma cells having varying levels of SOX10 suppression, cells with low SOX10 and consequently high EGFR expression are rapidly enriched in the presence of drug, but this is reversed when the drug treatment is discontinued. We find evidence for SOX10 loss and/or activation of TGF-β signalling in 4 of the 6 EGFR-positive drug-resistant melanoma patient samples. Our findings provide a rationale for why some BRAF or MEK inhibitor-resistant melanoma patients may regain sensitivity to these drugs after a ‘drug holiday’ and identify patients with EGFR-positive melanoma as a group that may benefit from re-treatment after a drug holiday.
    Nature 04/2014; 508(7494):118-22. · 38.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Methods Patients with advanced cutaneous melanoma were treated in the netherlands (nl) and the United King-dom (UK) with ipilimumab at 3 mg/kg. Baseline charac-teristics and peripheral blood parameters were assessed, and patients were monitored for the occurrence of adverse events and outcomes. Results a total of 166 patients were treated in the neth-erlands. Best overall response and disease control rates were 17 and 35 %, respectively. Median follow-up was 17.9 months, with a median progression-free survival of 2.9 months. Median OS was 7.5 months, and OS at 1 year was 37.8 % and at 2 years was 22.9 %. In a multivariate model, baseline serum lactate dehydrogenase (lDH) was demonstrated to be the strongest predictive factor for OS. Abstract Introduction Ipilimumab, a cytotoxic t lymphocyte-associated antigen-4 blocking antibody, has improved over-all survival (OS) in metastatic melanoma in phase III tri-als. However, about 80 % of patients fail to respond, and no predictive markers for benefit from therapy have been identified. We analysed a 'real world' population of patients treated with ipilimumab to identify markers for treatment benefit.
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    ABSTRACT: Methods Patients with advanced cutaneous melanoma were treated in the netherlands (nl) and the United King-dom (UK) with ipilimumab at 3 mg/kg. Baseline charac-teristics and peripheral blood parameters were assessed, and patients were monitored for the occurrence of adverse events and outcomes. Results a total of 166 patients were treated in the neth-erlands. Best overall response and disease control rates were 17 and 35 %, respectively. Median follow-up was 17.9 months, with a median progression-free survival of 2.9 months. Median OS was 7.5 months, and OS at 1 year was 37.8 % and at 2 years was 22.9 %. In a multivariate model, baseline serum lactate dehydrogenase (lDH) was demonstrated to be the strongest predictive factor for OS. Abstract Introduction Ipilimumab, a cytotoxic t lymphocyte-associated antigen-4 blocking antibody, has improved over-all survival (OS) in metastatic melanoma in phase III tri-als. However, about 80 % of patients fail to respond, and no predictive markers for benefit from therapy have been identified. We analysed a 'real world' population of patients treated with ipilimumab to identify markers for treatment benefit.
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    ABSTRACT: Ipilimumab, a cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen-4 blocking antibody, has improved overall survival (OS) in metastatic melanoma in phase III trials. However, about 80 % of patients fail to respond, and no predictive markers for benefit from therapy have been identified. We analysed a 'real world' population of patients treated with ipilimumab to identify markers for treatment benefit. Patients with advanced cutaneous melanoma were treated in the Netherlands (NL) and the United Kingdom (UK) with ipilimumab at 3 mg/kg. Baseline characteristics and peripheral blood parameters were assessed, and patients were monitored for the occurrence of adverse events and outcomes. A total of 166 patients were treated in the Netherlands. Best overall response and disease control rates were 17 and 35 %, respectively. Median follow-up was 17.9 months, with a median progression-free survival of 2.9 months. Median OS was 7.5 months, and OS at 1 year was 37.8 % and at 2 years was 22.9 %. In a multivariate model, baseline serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) was demonstrated to be the strongest predictive factor for OS. These findings were validated in an independent cohort of 64 patients from the UK. In both the NL and UK cohorts, long-term benefit of ipilimumab treatment was unlikely for patients with baseline serum LDH greater than twice the upper limit of normal. In the absence of prospective data, clinicians treating melanoma may wish to consider the data presented here to guide patient selection for ipilimumab therapy.
    Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy 03/2014; · 3.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the BRIM-3 trial, vemurafenib was associated with risk reduction versus dacarbazine of both death and progression in patients with advanced BRAF(V600) mutation-positive melanoma. We present an extended follow-up analysis of the total population and in the BRAF(V600E) and BRAF(V600K) mutation subgroups. Patients older than 18 years, with treatment-naive metastatic melanoma and whose tumour tissue was positive for BRAF(V600) mutations were eligible. Patients also had to have a life expectancy of at least 3 months, an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status of 0 or 1, and adequate haematological, hepatic, and renal function. Patients were randomly assigned by interactive voice recognition system to receive either vemurafenib (960 mg orally twice daily) or dacarbazine (1000 mg/m(2) of body surface area intravenously every 3 weeks). Coprimary endpoints were overall survival and progression-free survival, analysed in the intention-to-treat population (n=675), with data censored at crossover. A sensitivity analysis was done. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT01006980. 675 eligible patients were enrolled from 104 centres in 12 countries between Jan 4, 2010, and Dec 16, 2010. 337 patients were randomly assigned to receive vemurafenib and 338 to receive dacarbazine. Median follow-up was 12·5 months (IQR 7·7-16·0) on vemurafenib and 9·5 months (3·1-14·7) on dacarbazine. 83 (25%) of the 338 patients initially randomly assigned to dacarbazine crossed over from dacarbazine to vemurafenib. Median overall survival was significantly longer in the vemurafenib group than in the dacarbazine group (13·6 months [95% CI 12·0-15·2] vs 9·7 months [7·9-12·8]; hazard ratio [HR] 0·70 [95% CI 0·57-0·87]; p=0·0008), as was median progression-free survival (6·9 months [95% CI 6·1-7·0] vs 1·6 months [1·6-2·1]; HR 0·38 [95% CI 0·32-0·46]; p<0·0001). For the 598 (91%) patients with BRAF(V600E) disease, median overall survival in the vemurafenib group was 13·3 months (95% CI 11·9-14·9) compared with 10·0 months (8·0-14·0) in the dacarbazine group (HR 0·75 [95% CI 0·60-0·93]; p=0·0085); median progression-free survival was 6·9 months (95% CI 6·2-7·0) and 1·6 months (1·6-2·1), respectively (HR 0·39 [95% CI 0·33-0·47]; p<0·0001). For the 57 (9%) patients with BRAF(V600K) disease, median overall survival in the vemurafenib group was 14·5 months (95% CI 11·2-not estimable) compared with 7·6 months (6·1-16·6) in the dacarbazine group (HR 0·43 [95% CI 0·21-0·90]; p=0·024); median progression-free survival was 5·9 months (95% CI 4·4-9·0) and 1·7 months (1·4-2·9), respectively (HR 0·30 [95% CI 0·16-0·56]; p<0·0001). The most frequent grade 3-4 events were cutaneous squamous-cell carcinoma (65 [19%] of 337 patients) and keratoacanthomas (34 [10%]), rash (30 [9%]), and abnormal liver function tests (38 [11%]) in the vemurafenib group and neutropenia (26 [9%] of 287 patients) in the dacarbazine group. Eight (2%) patients in the vemurafenib group and seven (2%) in the dacarbazine group had grade 5 events. Inhibition of BRAF with vemurafenib improves survival in patients with the most common BRAF(V600E) mutation and in patients with the less common BRAF(V600K) mutation. F Hoffmann-La Roche-Genentech.
    The Lancet Oncology 02/2014; · 25.12 Impact Factor
  • Sander Kelderman, Ton N.M. Schumacher, John B.A.G. Haanen
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    ABSTRACT: A number of immunotherapies, in particular immune checkpoint targeting antibodies and adoptive T-cell therapies, are starting to transform the treatment of advanced cancers. The likelihood to respond to these immunotherapies differs strongly across tumor types, with response rates for checkpoint targeting being the highest in advanced melanoma, renal cell cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. However, also non-responsiveness is observed, indicating the presence of intrinsic resistance or naturally acquired resistance. In addition, a subgroup of patients that do initially respond to immunotherapy will later recur, thereby also pointing towards a role of therapy-induced acquired resistance. Here, we review our current understanding of both intrinsic and acquired resistance mechanisms in cancer immunotherapy, and discuss potential strategies to overcome them.
    Molecular Oncology. 01/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Vemurafenib, an inhibitor of genetically activated BRAF, is now commonly prescribed for metastatic melanoma harboring a BRAF mutation. Reports on side effects have focused on cutaneous complications. We here present a case of a severe pan-uveitis associated with vemurafenib use. A 63-year old female was treated with the BRAF inhibitor vemurafenib for metastatic melanoma. After seven weeks of treatment, she developed near-complete visual loss in the course of a few days, as a result of severe uveitis. Vemurafenib had to be discontinued and systemic and topical corticosteroids were initiated. The visual symptoms improved slowly, however the cerebral metastases progressed and the patient died from her disease. Treatment with vemurafenib has become an important component of standard clinical care for patients with metastatic melanoma. In addition, it is one of the best examples of genotype-directed therapy. This case illustrates that vemurafenib-induced uveitis can develop fast and be slow to resolve. Awareness of this potentially severe side effect is of major importance to oncologists and aggressive treatment should be considered.
    BMC Cancer 12/2013; 13(1):561. · 3.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The transfer of T cell receptor (TCR) genes into patient T cells is a promising approach for the treatment of both viral infections and cancer. Although efficient methods exist to identify antibodies for the treatment of these diseases, comparable strategies to identify TCRs have been lacking. We have developed a high-throughput DNA-based strategy to identify TCR sequences by the capture and sequencing of genomic DNA fragments encoding the TCR genes. We establish the value of this approach by assembling a large library of cancer germline tumor antigen-reactive TCRs. Furthermore, by exploiting the quantitative nature of TCR gene capture, we show the feasibility of identifying antigen-specific TCRs in oligoclonal T cell populations from either human material or TCR-humanized mice. Finally, we demonstrate the ability to identify tumor-reactive TCRs within intratumoral T cell subsets without knowledge of antigen specificities, which may be the first step toward the development of autologous TCR gene therapy to target patient-specific neoantigens in human cancer.
    Nature medicine 10/2013; · 27.14 Impact Factor
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    Journal of Clinical Oncology 09/2013; · 18.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hand-foot syndrome (HFS) is a side effect of sunitinib with considerable impact on quality of life. Seasonal variation and hyperhydrosis are possibly correlated to occurrence of HFS. Therefore, we proposed to study the prevalence of HFS in different seasons retrospectively and to study the relationship between sunitinib sweat secretion and HFS prospectively. A retrospective cohort of 19 patients treated with sunitinib was used to determine seasonal prevalence of HFS. In a prospective study, sunitinib and N-desethyl sunitinib levels in sweat patches of 25 patients treated with sunitinib were quantified and correlated to severity of HFS. In the retrospective cohort, the patients suffered from more severe HFS during summertime compared with the rest of the year. In the prospective study, the cumulative amounts of sunitinib plus metabolite measured in the patches of the on-treatment phase (median 129.4 ng/patch) were higher than the off-treatment phase (median 39.5 ng/patch). A tendency was observed towards increasing amounts of drug per patch with increasing severity of HFS. Patients experienced more HFS in summer time compared to other seasons. However, no statistically significant correlation between sunitinib sweat secretion and severity of HFS could be demonstrated within our patient cohort.
    European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 08/2013; · 2.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In a phase III trial (ClinicalTrials.gov registration ID: NCT00094653), ipilimumab significantly improved survival versus a vaccine control in pretreated patients with metastatic melanoma. Here, we characterize outcomes of those patients who survived ≥2 years. Patients were randomized (3 : 1 : 1) to receive ipilimumab 3 mg/kg + gp100 vaccine, ipilimumab 3 mg/kg + placebo, or gp100 vaccine alone. Baseline demographic data, duration of survival, responses, and safety among patients with ≥2 years' survival were analyzed. Among 676 randomized patients, 474 and 259 patients had at least 2 or 3 years of potential follow-up, respectively, and were eligible for analysis. Among these, 94 (20%) and 42 (16%) survived ≥2 and ≥3 years, respectively. Survival rates at 2 and 3 years were 25% (24 of 95) and 25% (13 of 53) with ipilimumab alone and 19% (54 of 284) and 15% (24 of 156) with ipilimumab plus gp100. Safety among patients with ≥2 years' survival was comparable with the overall study population, with the onset of new ipilimumab-related toxic effect (all grades) reported in 6 of 78 (8%) patients. Ipilimumab results in survival of ≥2 years in one-fifth of pretreated patients with 2 years potential follow-up in a phase III trial. New onset, low-grade events starting after administration of the last dose were infrequent. NCT00094653.
    Annals of Oncology 08/2013; 24(10):2694-2698. · 7.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the last few years, several drugs targeting signalling proteins critical for melanoma entered clinical evaluation. In 2011 vemurafenib (Zelboraf®, F. Hoffman-La Roche Ltd.) was approved for BRAF V600-positive melanoma and showed high overall response rates (48–53%). However recent results from a phase II clinical trial also showed that the median duration of response was 6.7 months and median progression free survival was 6.8 months with tumour relapse. Resistance to targeted agents is quite common and understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms might predict response or failure. The knowledge of the mechanisms involved in intrinsic and acquired resistance to mutated BRAF is increasing swiftly. Subsequently the elucidation of these mechanisms resulted in the development of rational combination therapies to overcome toxicity and resistance. These combination therapies will be discussed.
    Cancer Treatment Reviews 06/2013; 39(4):305–312. · 6.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report an unexpected contamination during clinical manufacture of a Human Papilomavirus (HPV) 16 E6 encoding plasmid DNA (pDNA) vaccine, with a transposon originating from the Escherichia coli DH5 host cell genome. During processing, presence of this transposable element, insertion sequence 2 (IS2) in the plasmid vector was not noticed until quality control of the bulk pDNA vaccine when results of restriction digestion, sequencing, and CGE analysis were clearly indicative for the presence of a contaminant. Due to the very low level of contamination, only an insert-specific PCR method was capable of tracing back the presence of the transposon in the source pDNA and master cell bank (MCB). Based on the presence of an uncontrolled contamination with unknown clinical relevance, the product was rejected for clinical use. In order to prevent costly rejection of clinical material, both in-process controls and quality control methods must be sensitive enough to detect such a contamination as early as possible, i.e. preferably during plasmid DNA source generation, MCB production and ultimately during upstream processing. However, as we have shown that contamination early in the process development pipeline (source pDNA, MCB) can be present below limits of detection of generally applied analytical methods, the introduction of "engineered" or transposon-free host cells seems the only 100% effective solution to avoid contamination with movable elements and should be considered when searching for a suitable host cell-vector combination.
    Vaccine 05/2013; · 3.77 Impact Factor
  • Tijdschrift voor Urologie. 05/2013; 3(3).
  • Acta oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden) 04/2013; · 2.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-targeted therapy is administered continuously until progression in metastatic clear cell renal cancer (mRCC). The role of intermittent therapy is under investigation. Preclinical data raise concerns about this approach.Materials and methodsThis study combined the data from three similar phase II studies investigating VEGF-targeted therapy prior to planned nephrectomy for untreated mRCC (European Union Drug Regulating Authorities Clinical Trials 2006-004511-21, 2006-006491-38 and 2009-016675-29). The significance of progression during the planned treatment break (median 4.3 weeks) was assessed.ResultsSixty-two patients had a structured treatment interruption for nephrectomy after achieving clinical benefit from treatment and restarted therapy. Twenty-three of these patients (37%) progressed (Response Evaluation Criteria In Solid Tumors v1.1) on the first scan after the treatment break. Subsequent stabilisation of disease occurred in 16 of the 23 (70%) progressing patients when the same VEGF tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) was reintroduced. Baseline characteristics, such as the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre prognostic score, did not predispose to the development of this progression. Progression during the treatment break was associated with an increased risk of death on multivariate analysis {hazard ratio (HR) 5.56; [95% confidence interval 2.29-13.5], P < 0.01}. Sequential fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography showed a rebound in metabolic activity during the treatment break.Conclusions Progression during planned VEGF TKI treatment interruptions is frequent and associated with a poor prognosis. Treatment cessation should be pursued with caution.
    Annals of Oncology 04/2013; · 7.38 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Clinical Oncology 04/2013; · 18.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ipilimumab is a human monoclonal antibody directed against a receptor expressed on activated T-lymphocytes (CTLA-4). Binding to this receptor induces T-cell activation against tumor cells. A 77-year-old man with a stage IV metastatic melanoma was treated with ipilimumab. F-FDG PET-CT performed for response evaluation revealed intense uptake in the pituitary gland. Two weeks later, biochemical parameters altered confirming hypophysitis. Treatment of the hypophysitis was started, and shortly thereafter, biochemical parameters normalized. Follow-up PET-CT revealed normalization of F-FDG uptake in the pituitary gland. In this case, we present a patient with ipilimumab-induced hypophysitis initially diagnosed on F-FDG PET-CT.
    Clinical nuclear medicine 04/2013; 38(4):e182-4. · 3.92 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

5k Citations
1,074.24 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1999–2014
    • Netherlands Cancer Institute
      • • Division of Immunology
      • • Department of Urology
      • • Department of Medical Oncology
      Amsterdamo, North Holland, Netherlands
  • 2013
    • Barts Cancer Institute
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
    • Radboud University Medical Centre (Radboudumc)
      Nymegen, Gelderland, Netherlands
  • 2011
    • University of Amsterdam
      • Faculty of Medicine AMC
      Amsterdam, North Holland, Netherlands
  • 2009
    • Slotervaartziekenhuis
      Amsterdamo, North Holland, Netherlands
  • 2006–2009
    • VU University Medical Center
      • Department of Pathology
      Amsterdamo, North Holland, Netherlands
  • 2008
    • Biomedical primate research centre
      • Department of Virology
      Rijswijk, South Holland, Netherlands