Background:Recent phase III clinical trials have established the superiority of the anti-PD-1 antibodies pembrolizumab and nivolumab over the anti-CTLA-4 antibody ipilimumab in the first-line treatment of patients with advanced melanoma. Ipilimumab will be considered for second-line treatment after the failure of anti-PD-1 therapy.Methods:We retrospectively identified a cohort of 40 patients with metastatic melanoma who received single-agent anti-PD-1 therapy with pembrolizumab or nivolumab and were treated on progression with ipilimumab at a dose of 3 mg kg -1 for a maximum of four doses.Results:Ten percent of patients achieved an objective response to ipilimumab, and an additional 8% experienced prolonged (>6 months) stable disease. Thirty-five percent of patients developed grade 3-5 immune-related toxicity associated with ipilimumab therapy. The most common high-grade immune-related toxicity was diarrhoea. Three patients (7%) developed grade 3-5 pneumonitis leading to death in one patient.Conclusions:Ipilimumab therapy can induce responses in patients who fail the anti-PD-1 therapy with response rates comparable to previous reports. There appears to be an increased frequency of high-grade immune-related adverse events including pneumonitis that warrants close surveillance.
- immune-mediated adverse event
- metastatic melanoma