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.