A Pilot Study of Preoperative Single-Dose Ipilimumab and/or Cryoablation in Women with Early-Stage Breast Cancer with Comprehensive Immune Profiling

Clin Cancer Res. 2016 Dec 1;22(23):5729-5737. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-16-0190. Epub 2016 Aug 26.


Purpose: To assess the safety and tolerability of preoperative cryoablation-mediated tumor antigen presentation and/or ipilimumab-mediated immune modulation in women with operable breast cancer.

Experimental design: In this pilot study, 19 women with breast cancer for whom mastectomy was planned were treated with preoperative tumor cryoablation (n = 7), single-dose ipilimumab at 10 mg/kg (n = 6), or both (n = 6). The primary outcome for this pilot study was safety/tolerability as defined as freedom from delays in pre-planned, curative-intent mastectomy. Exploratory studies of immune activation were performed on peripheral blood and tumor.

Results: Preoperative cryoablation and/or ipilimumab were safe and tolerable, with no delays in pre-planned surgery. Grade III toxicity was seen in 1 of 19 (unrelated rash after ipilimumab). Combination therapy was associated with sustained peripheral elevations in: Th1-type cytokines, activated (ICOS+) and proliferating (Ki67+) CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, and posttreatment proliferative T-effector cells relative to T-regulatory cells within tumor.

Conclusions: Preoperative cryoablation and single-dose ipilimumab are safe alone or in combination with no surgical delays incurred. Potentially favorable intratumoral and systemic immunologic effects were observed with the combination, suggesting the possibility for induced and synergistic antitumor immunity with this strategy. Clin Cancer Res; 22(23); 5729-37. ©2016 AACR.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antigens, Neoplasm / metabolism
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological / therapeutic use*
  • Breast Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Breast Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Combined Modality Therapy / methods
  • Cryosurgery / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ipilimumab / therapeutic use*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Preoperative Care / methods
  • Receptor, ErbB-2 / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / drug effects
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / metabolism


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Immunological
  • Ipilimumab
  • Receptor, ErbB-2