A Contemporary Report of Clinical Outcomes in Patients with Melanoma Brain Metastases

Curr Oncol. 2021 Jan 13;28(1):428-439. doi: 10.3390/curroncol28010045.


Background: Brain metastases are observed in more than 40% of all patients with stage 4 melanoma. In recent years, more extensive use of stereotactic radiation (STRT) and the advent of immune checkpoint inhibitors have positively impacted outcomes in patients with metastatic melanoma.brain metastases. Here, we examined real world clinical outcomes of patients presenting with melanoma brain metastases (MBMs). Methods: This retrospective review evaluated MBMs patients treated at The Ottawa Hospital from April 2000 to July 2017. Clinical, radiologic, pathologic and treatment information were gathered from the electronic medical records. The primary outcome was overall survival. The proportional Cox regression model was employed for survival data, while the Fisher's exact and Mann-Whitney U tests analyzed the relationship between categorical and continuous data, respectively. Results: This retrospective study included 276 patients. Brain metastases were detected symptomatically in 191 patients (69.2%); the rates of detection by routine screening were 4.6% in the pre-2012 era and 11.7% in the contemporary era (p = 0.029). Median survival was three months. Predictors of overall survival were age, higher lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) values, multiple brain lesions, more extensive extracranial disease, neurological symptoms, infratentorial lesions and treatment type. Multivariable analysis demonstrated that stereotactic radiotherapy (STRT) was associated with a hazard ratio of 0.401 (p < 0.001) for survival; likewise, immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy was associated with a hazard ratio of 0.375 (p < 0.001). Conclusion: The findings from this study as "real world" data are consistent with results of pivotal clinical trials in MBMs patients and support contemporary locoregional and immunotherapy practices.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03340129.

Keywords: Melanoma brain metastasis; clinical outcome; immunotherapy; screening; stereotactic radiotherapy; systemic therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Brain Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Melanoma* / surgery
  • Radiosurgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Skin Neoplasms* / therapy

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT03340129