Alexander Christopher Jonathan van Akkooi

Alexander Christopher Jonathan van Akkooi
Netherlands Cancer Institute · Division of Surgical Oncology

MD, PhD

About

308
Publications
28,725
Reads
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7,230
Citations
Introduction
Board Certified Surgical Oncologist, specialized in Melanoma and Sarcoma. Started working as Staff Surgeon at Netherlands Cancer Institute - Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital (NKI-AVL) from the 1st of January 2015. Obtained my PhD (cum laude) on the topic of "Sentinel Node (SN) Tumor Load Assessment in Melanoma: Dilemmas and Clinical Management" on January 19th 2011. Chairman of the EORTC Melanoma Group per 2018. National coordinator of EORTC 1325 & 1612 studies. Principal Investigator of the EORTC 1208 (Minitub study).
Additional affiliations
January 2013 - present
Netherlands Cancer Institute
Position
  • Resident Surgical Oncology
January 2009 - December 2012
Maasstad Ziekenhuis
January 2006 - December 2012
Erasmus MC
Education
May 2005 - January 2011
Erasmus MC
Field of study
  • Sentinel Node (SN) Tumor Burden in Melanoma
September 1999 - August 2008
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Field of study
  • Medicine

Publications

Publications (308)
Article
A unique collaboration of multidisciplinary experts from the European Dermatology Forum (EDF), the European Association of Dermato-Oncology (EADO), and the European Organization of Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) was formed to make recommendations on cutaneous melanoma diagnosis and treatment, based on the systematic literature reviews and...
Article
Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is a rare skin cancer, accounting for less than 1% of all cutaneous malignancies. It is found predominantly in white populations and risk factors include advanced age, ultraviolet exposure, male sex, immunosuppression, such as AIDS/HIV infection, haematological malignancies or solid organ transplantation, and Merkel cell...
Article
Full-text available
Neoadjuvant ipilimumab and nivolumab induces high pathologic response rates (pRRs) in clinical stage III nodal melanoma, and pathologic response is strongly associated with prolonged relapse-free survival (RFS). The PRADO extension cohort of the OpACIN-neo trial (NCT02977052) addressed the feasibility and effect on clinical outcome of using patholo...
Article
Background: Consideration of sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) is recommended for patients with T1b melanomas and T1a melanomas with high-risk features; however, the proportion of patients with actionable results is low. We aimed to identify factors predicting SLNB positivity in T1 melanomas by examining a multi-institutional international populat...
Article
Talimogene laherparepvec (T-VEC) is a modified herpes simplex virus type 1, which can be administered intralesionally in patients with stage IIIB/C-IVM1a (American Joint Committee of Cancer; AJCC 7th edition) unresectable melanoma. In the case of disease recurrence, T-VEC can be re-introduced for the same category of patients. Five patients with re...
Article
Cutaneous melanoma (CM) is potentially the most dangerous form of skin tumor and causes 90% of skin cancer mortality. A unique collaboration of multi-disciplinary experts from the European Dermatology Forum (EDF), the European Association of Dermato-Oncology (EADO) and the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) was forme...
Article
Single-agent Talimogene Laherparepvec(T-VEC) was developed for treatment of unresectable and injectable stage III-IV melanoma. Since its approval and reimbursement, studies have reported varying response rates. The purpose of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to investigate the efficacy and safety of T-VEC. Of 341 publications that were...
Article
Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate whether 18F-FDG PET/CT can predict histopathological response or recurrence in BRAF-mutated unresectable locally advanced stage III melanoma treated with neoadjuvant BRAF/MEK inhibition followed by resection and the value of PET in detecting early recurrence after resection. Patients and methods:...
Article
The introduction of effective systemic therapies has significantly changed the treatment of stage III and IV melanoma. Both immune checkpoint inhibitors and targeted therapies have improved recurrence-free survival in the adjuvant setting. Recent interest has sparked for neoadjuvant systemic therapy with immune checkpoint inhibitors. The intended b...
Article
Background β-adrenergic receptors are upregulated in melanoma cells and contribute to an immunosuppressive, pro-tumorigenic microenvironment. This study investigated the prognostic and predictive value of β-adrenoreceptor blockade by β-blockers in the EORTC1325/KEYNOTE-054 randomised controlled trial. Methods Patients with resected stage IIIA, III...
Article
Background: When treating Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC), the relation between wide local excision (WLE) margin and recurrence or survival is unclear. Mohs micrographic surgery (MMS) is an alternative surgical option for MCC, but it is unknown whether the local recurrence rate differs between MMS and WLE. Objective: To systematically assess the ava...
Article
Importance: Neoadjuvant checkpoint inhibition in patients with high-risk stage III melanoma shows high pathologic response rates associated with a durable relapse-free survival. Whether a therapeutic lymph node dissection (TLND) can be safely omitted when a major pathologic response in the largest lymph node metastasis at baseline (index lymph nod...
Article
Full-text available
The management of melanoma patients with nodal metastases has undergone dramatic changes over the last decade. In the past, the standard of care for patients with a positive sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) was a completion lymph node dissection (CLND), while patients with palpable macroscopic nodal disease underwent a therapeutic lymphadenectomy...
Article
Background Prior to the advent of effective systemic therapy for melanoma, isolated limb perfusion (ILP) was the most effective local treatment for advanced in-transit melanoma (ITM). However, many patients who are now treated by ILP will have received prior immunotherapy. We sought to compare response rates to ILP in patients who had previously re...
Article
Exciting advances in melanoma systemic therapies have presented the opportunity for surgical oncologists and their multidisciplinary colleagues to test the neoadjuvant systemic treatment approach in high-risk, resectable metastatic melanomas. Here we describe the state of the science of neoadjuvant systemic therapy (NAST) for melanoma, focusing on...
Article
Full-text available
Background The objective of this study was to evaluate trends in survival and health care costs in metastatic melanoma in the era of targeted and immunotherapeutic drugs. Materials and methods Data on survival and health care resource use were retrieved from the Dutch Melanoma Treatment Registry. The Kaplan–Meier method was used to estimate overal...
Article
PurposeTalimogene Laherparepvec (T-VEC) is a modified herpes simplex virus type-1 used as intralesional immunotherapy in stage IIIB-IVM1a melanoma patients. Recently, Stahlie et al. published a predictive model for complete response (CR) to T-VEC. This study was designed to validate this model externally in an independent, American patient cohort.M...
Article
Full-text available
Melanoma of unknown primary (MUP) is considered different from melanoma of known primary (MKP), and it is unclear whether these patients benefit equally from novel therapies. In the current study, characteristics and overall survival (OS) of patients with advanced and metastatic MUP and MKP were compared in the era of novel therapy. Patients were s...
Article
Full-text available
Background Postoperative radiotherapy (PORT) is currently recommended for the treatment of Merkel cell carcinoma. Nevertheless, deviations occur frequently due to the generally elderly and frail patient population. We aimed to evaluate the influence of PORT on survival in stage I-III MCC patients treated in the Netherlands. Methods Patients were i...
Article
Background: Talimogene laherparepvec (T-VEC) is an oncolytic virus approved for the treatment of unresectable, recurrent melanoma. The role of T-VEC after progression on systemic immunotherapy (IO) remains undefined. The goal of this study was to characterize the efficacy of T-VEC after failure of IO in patients with unresectable metastatic melano...
Article
Full-text available
Objective To examine stage-specific trends in the incidence and survival of cutaneous melanoma in the Netherlands between 2003 and 2018, as well as the uptake of the sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) and novel drugs during that period. Methods Data were obtained from the nationwide population-based Netherlands Cancer Registry for all patients diag...
Article
Full-text available
Background Little is known about outcomes of adjuvant-treated melanoma patients beyond the clinical trial setting. Since 2019, adjuvant-treated melanoma patients have been registered in the DMTR, a population-based registry to monitor the quality and safety of melanoma care in the Netherlands. This study aims to describe treatment patterns, relapse...
Article
Full-text available
Background Talimogene laherparepvec (T-VEC) is a genetically modified herpes simplex type 1 virus and known as an effective oncolytic immunotherapy for injectable cutaneous, subcutaneous and nodal melanoma lesions in stage IIIB-IVM1a patients. This study set out to identify prognostic factors for achieving a complete response that can be used to op...
Article
Full-text available
Talimogene laherparepvec (T-VEC) is a genetically modified herpes simplex virus-1-based oncolytic immunotherapy and has been approved for the local treatment of unresectable (stage IIIB/C and IVM1a) cutaneous melanoma. During T-VEC treatment, tumor response is often evaluated using [18F]2-fluoro-2-deoxy- d-glucose(FDG) positron emission tomography/...
Article
Background Patients with synchronous clinical stage III melanoma can present with primary melanoma lesions, locally recurrent melanoma or in-transit metastases. Neoadjuvant ipilimumab plus nivolumab induces high pathologic response rates and an impressive relapse-free survival in patients with nodal macroscopic stage III melanoma. Whether primary s...
Article
Full-text available
Background The incidence of metastatic melanoma is increasing in all ages. Multiple trials with targeted drugs and immune checkpoint inhibitors showed improved survival in metastatic melanoma. However, patients aged ≥75 years are often under-represented in clinical trials, therefore raising questions on safety and efficacy of treatment. Patients a...
Article
Objective: To evaluate the potency of short-term neoadjuvant cytoreductive therapy with dabrafenib plus trametinib (BRAF and MEK inhibitor) to allow for radical surgical resection in patients with unresectable locally advanced melanoma. Summary background data: Approximately 5% of stage III melanoma patients presents with unresectable locally ad...
Article
Background: For patients with sentinel lymph node (SLN)-positive cutaneous melanoma, the Second Multicenter Selective Lymphadenectomy trial demonstrated equivalent disease-specific survival (DSS) with active surveillance using nodal ultrasound versus completion lymph node dissection (CLND). Adoption and outcomes of active surveillance in clinical...
Article
Background The European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) 1325-MG/KEYNOTE-054 trial in patients with resected, high-risk stage III melanoma demonstrated improved recurrence-free survival with adjuvant pembrolizumab compared with placebo (hazard ratio 0·57 [98·4% CI 0·43–0·74]; p<0·0001). This study reports the results from t...
Article
Background The European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) 1325/KEYNOTE-054 trial assessed pembrolizumab versus placebo in patients with resected high-risk stage III melanoma. At 15-month median follow-up, pembrolizumab improved recurrence-free survival (hazard ratio [HR] 0·57 [98·4% CI 0·43–0·74], p<0·0001) compared with pla...
Article
Background The extent of surgical management of regional lymph nodes in the treatment of cutaneous head and neck melanoma on and anterior to O'Brien's watershed line is controversial. By comparing patients' cohorts of two separate melanoma expert centers we investigate the effectiveness of comprehensive versus (super-) selective neck dissection app...
Article
Background Guidelines for pathologic evaluation of neoadjuvant specimens and pathologic response categories have been developed by the International Neoadjuvant Melanoma Consortium (INMC). As part of the OpACIN-neo clinical trial of neoadjuvant combination anti-PD1/anti-CTLA4 immunotherapy for stage III melanoma, we sought to determine interobserve...
Article
Nearly 10% of patients with high-risk early-stage melanoma will develop satellite or in-transit metastases (ITM), classified as stage III disease similar to lymph node metastases. The pivotal registration trials of the CTLA-4 antibody ipilimumab, and the PD-1 antibodies nivolumab and pembrolizumab, also included patients with unresectable stage III...
Article
Background The treatment landscape has completely changed for advanced melanoma. We report survival outcomes and the differential impact of prognostic factors over time in daily clinical practice. Methods From a Dutch nationwide population-based registry, patients with advanced melanoma diagnosed from 2013 to 2017 were analysed (n = 3616). Because...
Article
Full-text available
Neoadjuvant ipilimumab plus nivolumab showed high pathologic response rates (pRRs) in patients with macroscopic stage III melanoma in the phase 1b OpACIN (NCT02437279) and phase 2 OpACIN-neo (NCT02977052) studies1,2. While the results are promising, data on the durability of these pathologic responses and baseline biomarkers for response and surviv...
Article
Full-text available
The association among pathological response, recurrence-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS) with neoadjuvant therapy in melanoma remains unclear. In this study, we pooled data from six clinical trials of anti-PD-1-based immunotherapy or BRAF/MEK targeted therapy. In total, 192 patients were included; 141 received immunotherapy (104, combi...
Article
Background Stage IIB/IIC (8th AJCC) melanoma patients are known to have high-risk primary tumors, however they follow the same routine to sentinel lymph node biopsy (SLNB) as more low risk tumors. Guidelines are not conclusive regarding the use of preoperative imaging for these patients. The aim of this pilot study was to assess the value of ultras...
Article
Split-thickness skin grafts are often applied in the management of primary cutaneous melanoma. It is routine surgical practice to use the contralateral limb because of the alleged risk of donor site metastases that may occur when the ipsilateral limb is used. The rationale and clinical evidence for this routine were assessed in light of current und...
Article
Full-text available
IntroductionTalimogene laherparepvec (T-VEC; IMLYGIC®, Amgen Inc.) is an oncolytic immunotherapy approved in Europe for the treatment of unresectable metastatic melanoma (stage IIIB–IVM1a). This study characterised real-world use of T-VEC in four European countries.Methods Data on demographics, treatment pattern, safety, and clinical effectiveness...
Article
Purpose: We conducted the phase III double-blind European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) 1325/KEYNOTE-054 trial to evaluate pembrolizumab versus placebo in patients with resected high-risk stage III melanoma. On the basis of 351 recurrence-free survival (RFS) events at a 1.25-year median follow-up, pembrolizumab prolonge...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is associated with high recurrence rates and poor survival when metastatic disease is present. The immune checkpoint inhibitor avelumab has shown high response rates (RRs) and durable responses in patients with advanced MCC (aMCC) in clinical trials. To date, only results from clinical trials, patients treat...
Conference Paper
p> Background In the multicenter investigator-initiated OpACIN-neo trial, patients (pts) with macroscopic stage III melanoma were randomized (stratified by center) to three different dosing schemes of neoadjuvant ipilimumab (IPI) + nivolumab (NIVO). Two cycles IPI 1 mg/kg + NIVO 3 mg/kg was identified as the most favorable regimen with 20% grade 3-...
Article
Full-text available
Melanomas can switch to a dedifferentiated cell state upon exposure to cytotoxic T cells. However, it is unclear whether such tumor cells pre-exist in patients and whether they can be resensitized to immunotherapy. Here, we chronically expose (patient-derived) melanoma cell lines to differentiation antigen-specific cytotoxic T cells and observe str...
Article
The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) held a consensus conference on melanoma on 5–7 September 2019 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The conference included a multidisciplinary panel of 32 leading experts in the management of melanoma. The aim of the conference was to develop recommendations on topics that are not covered in detail in the...
Article
The European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) held a consensus conference on melanoma on 5–7 September 2019 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The conference included a multidisciplinary panel of 32 leading experts in the management of melanoma. The aim of the conference was to develop recommendations on topics that are not covered in detail in the...
Article
Background The role of surveillance imaging in high‐risk stage III melanoma patients after complete surgical resection remains controversial, and with the advent of adjuvant therapy, it may also be expanded. Therefore, we evaluated two fluorine‐18 fluorodeoxyglucose‐positron emission tomography/computed tomography (FDG‐PET/CT) protocols in two coho...
Article
Full-text available
This review describes the progress that the concept of adjuvant therapies has undergone in the last 50 years and focuses on the most recent development where an adjuvant approach has been scientifically evaluated in melanoma clinical trials. Over the past decade the development of immunotherapies and targeted therapies has drastically changed the t...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Based on recent advances in the management of patients with sentinel node (SN)–positive melanoma, we aimed to develop prediction models for recurrence, distant metastasis (DM) and overall mortality (OM). Methods The derivation cohort consisted of 1080 patients with SN-positive melanoma from nine European Organization for Research and Treat...
Article
Background Subgroup analyses of two large EORTC adjuvant interferon-alpha2b (IFNα-2b) vs observation randomised trials demonstrated that a treatment benefit was observed only in patients with an ulcerated melanoma without palpable nodes (hazard ratio [HR] for recurrence-free survival [RFS] was 0.69). This was confirmed by a meta-analysis of 15 adju...
Article
Background With the approval of adjuvant therapy for stage III melanoma, accurate staging is more important than ever. Sentinel node biopsy (SNB) is an accurate staging tool, yet the presence of capsular nevi (CN) can lead to a false‐positive diagnosis. Patients and Methods Retrospective analysis of the American Joint Committee on Cancer 7th editi...