Real-world efficacy, toxicity and clinical management of ipilimumab treatment in metastatic melanoma

Eshetu G Atenafu, Qian Ye, Craig Gedye, Maryanne Chappell, David Hogg, Marcus O Butler, Anthony M Joshua, Leila Khoja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2011, the anti-cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4 checkpoint inhibitor ipilimumab has delivered a survival benefit of ≥3 years in a subset of metastatic melanoma patients. After participating in the registration trial, patients were treated with this agent in routine practice. Toxicity and efficacy of agents in "real world" settings may differ from trials. The present study aimed to evaluate, with respect to toxicity and outcome, all patients treated with ipilimumab to date at the Princess Margaret Hospital (Toronto, Canada). Patients treated with ipilimumab between 2008 and 2013 were identified, and patient characteristics (age, gender, tumour burden, oncogenic mutation status, number of treatments received and toxicities from treatment) were collected. Progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were calculated from the commencement of ipilimumab treatment. Associations between clinical characteristics and outcome or toxicity were assessed. Between 2008 and 2013, 129 patients with metastatic cutaneous melanoma were treated. Since, during this period, ipilimumab was approved in the second line setting, ipilimumab was delivered in the second or subsequent line in all patients, and 70% did not receive any further anticancer therapy. Immune-related toxicities were observed, the onset of which varied from 1 to 162 days. The majority resolved within 6 weeks of the final treatment, with the exception of endocrinopathies and bowel related toxicity. The median PFS and OS were 2.83 and 8.44 months, respectively. No pre-treatment factor independently predicted toxicity. The number of infusions (4 vs. ≤3) and presence of toxicity were significantly associated with superior survival. The onset of toxicity secondary to ipilimumab could occur later than previously reported. Toxicities were manageable, but required long-term vigilance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1581-1585
Number of pages5
JournalOncology Letters
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2016


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