Ipilimumab in melanoma patients with brain metastasis: a retro-spective multicentre evaluation of thirty-eight patients

Acta Derm Venereol. 2014 Jan;94(1):45-9. doi: 10.2340/00015555-1654.


Treatment with ipilimumab, a monoclonal antibody that antagonizes cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4), results in improved survival of patients with stage IIIc-IV melanoma. However, there is a lack of data on the efficacy of ipilimumab in patients with brain metastases. To evaluate the efficacy of ipilimumab for the treatment of brain metastasis in melanoma, a multicentre, retrospective analysis of 38 patients with brain metastases in melanoma, treated with ipilimumab in the context of the French Expanded Access Program, was performed. Three patients had a 3 partial response, 5 stable disease, 15 disease progression and 15 patients died during the induction phase due to disease progression. Median overall survival was 101 days (range 54-154). The brain metastases control rate was 16% (6/38). Ipilimumab may be effective in a few patients with central nervous system metastasis. However, patients with brain metastases and a low life expectancy may not benefit sufficiently from treatment with ipilimumab.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / adverse effects
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Brain Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Brain Neoplasms / secondary
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ipilimumab
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Melanoma / drug therapy*
  • Melanoma / secondary
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Ipilimumab