Improved Risk-Adjusted Survival for Melanoma Brain Metastases in the Era of Checkpoint Blockade Immunotherapies: Results from a National Cohort

Cancer Immunol Res. 2018 Sep;6(9):1039-1045. doi: 10.1158/2326-6066.CIR-18-0067. Epub 2018 Jul 12.

Abstract

The successes of checkpoint blockade immunotherapy (CBI) and BRAFV600-targeted therapy trials have generated substantial promise for revolutionizing the management of patients with advanced melanoma. However, because early clinical trials of CBIs and BRAFV600-targeted therapy either excluded or included disproportionately fewer cases of melanoma brain metastases (MBMs), the survival benefit of these novel therapies for MBM remains unknown. We, therefore, evaluated the characteristics, management, and overall survival (OS) of patients who presented with cutaneous MBMs during 2010 to 2015 using the National Cancer Database, which comprises 70% of all newly diagnosed U.S. cancers. OS was analyzed with risk-adjusted proportional hazards and compared by Kaplan-Meier techniques. We found that 2,753 (36%) of patients presenting with stage 4 melanoma had MBMs. Following the 2011 FDA approvals for CBI and BRAFV600-targeted therapy, MBM patients demonstrated a 91% relative increase in 4-year OS to 14.1% from 7.4% preapproval (P < 0.001). Postapproval, the proportion of MBM patients who received CBI rose from 10.5% in 2011 to 34.0% in 2015 (P < 0.001). Initial CBI in MBM patients displayed an improved median and 4-year OS of 12.4 months (compared with 5.2 months; P < 0.001) and 28.1% (compared with 11.1%), respectively. These benefits were pronounced in MBM patients without extracranial metastases, in which CBI demonstrated improved median and 4-year OS of 56.4 months (compared with 7.7 months; P < 0.001) and 51.5% (compared with 16.9%), respectively. Using a large national cohort composed of a "real-life" MBM treatment population, we demonstrated the dramatic OS improvements associated with novel checkpoint blockade immunotherapies. Cancer Immunol Res; 6(9); 1039-45. ©2018 AACR.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brain Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Brain Neoplasms / secondary
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Melanoma / pathology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins B-raf / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Skin / pathology
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Survival Analysis

Substances

  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins B-raf