Improved survival of patients with melanoma brain metastases – Research Review

Improved survival of patients with melanoma brain metastases – Research Review

The publication Melanoma Research review has published an article on the Improved survival of patients with melanoma brain metastases in the era of targeted BRAF and immune checkpoint therapies. This retrospective study reports ‘the median overall survival for patients with melanoma brain metastases has improved significantly since 2011, independent of other prognostic factors’.


‘This study evaluated the risk of de novo brain metastases and survival among patients with unresectable AJCC stage III/IV melanoma who received first-line systemic therapy at a single centre between 2000 and 2012.

Of the study cohort of 610 patients, 243 were diagnosed with melanoma brain metastases (40%). The authors reported the risk of de novo melanoma brain metastases was similar among patients treated with chemotherapy, biochemotherapy, BRAF-targeted therapy, ipilimumab, and anti-PDL-1 regimens.

They also reported median overall survival (OS) from the time of melanoma brain metastases diagnosis was 7.5 months, 8.5 months, and 22.7 months, respectively, for patients diagnosed from 2000 to 2008, 2009 to 2010, and 2011 to the time of last follow-up (P = .002).’


‘This retrospective data shows that, as may have been expected based on clinical experience and trial results, the median OS from time of diagnosis of melanoma brain metastases is significantly improved in patients diagnosed after 2011 independent of other prognostic factors.

An important caveat when interpreting this data is that it was not intended to capture patients who never received systemic therapy, a group that would be enriched for poor prognostic factors with expected shorter median OS. In addition, most patients included in the study had received local therapy for primary treatment of the brain metastases. It is interesting that there was no association between type of systemic therapy received and the risk of developing de novo brain metastases indicating that no treatment seemed to be preventative.’

Authors: Sloot S, et al

Reference: Cancer 2018 Jan 15;124(2):297-305  Click here>>

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