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SSO 2024: Do Surgical Characteristics Impact TIL Therapy Outcomes in Melanoma?

By: Julia Fiederlein Cipriano, MS
Posted: Tuesday, April 2, 2024

According to Liselotte Tas, MD, of The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, and colleagues, neither the size nor the number of harvested metastatic melanoma lesions seems to impact the potential clinical benefit of tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) therapy. Their findings, which were presented during the 2024 Society of Surgical Oncology (SSO) Annual Meeting (Abstract 61), furthermore suggested that lesions from any site may yield successful outgrowth and favorable responses.

“Treatment with tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes has shown promising results in a phase III trial recently published by our group,” the investigators commented.

In the present analysis, they collected the surgical details of tumor harvest procedures from this population. A total of 93 operations were performed; 80 patients received TIL therapy, with a response rate of 49%. A second operation was required in 10 patients because of insufficient TIL outgrowth. A total of three patients underwent surgery but were not treated with TILs.

Surgical complications were reported in 10 patients (11%), of whom 9 were classified as Clavien Dindo grade I/II and 1 as grade IIIa. The median duration of hospitalization after surgery was 1 day, and the median operating time was 35 minutes.

A total of 39%, 33%, 22%, and 6% of all resected lesions were from the lymph nodes, subcutaneous, visceral or intramuscular, and a combination of lesions from different sites, respectively. Neither the size nor the number of harvested lesions seemed to significantly impact the success rate of outgrowth or the response rate. Outgrowth failure was documented in 3% of lesions from the lymph nodes, 19% of subcutaneous metastases, 15% of visceral or intramuscular metastases, and 17% of the combinations. In 78 patients evaluated for tumor response, the overall response rates at the aforementioned locations were 53%, 41%, 53%, and 60%, respectively. 

Disclosure: Dr. Tas reported no conflicts of interest. For full disclosures of the other study authors, visit

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