Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) clinical practice guideline on immunotherapy for the treatment of melanoma, version 3.0

J Immunother Cancer. 2023 Oct;11(10):e006947. doi: 10.1136/jitc-2023-006947.


Since the first approval for immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) for the treatment of cutaneous melanoma more than a decade ago, immunotherapy has completely transformed the treatment landscape of this chemotherapy-resistant disease. Combination regimens including ICIs directed against programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) with anti-cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4) agents or, more recently, anti-lymphocyte-activation gene 3 (LAG-3) agents, have gained regulatory approvals for the treatment of metastatic cutaneous melanoma, with long-term follow-up data suggesting the possibility of cure for some patients with advanced disease. In the resectable setting, adjuvant ICIs prolong recurrence-free survival, and neoadjuvant strategies are an active area of investigation. Other immunotherapy strategies, such as oncolytic virotherapy for injectable cutaneous melanoma and bispecific T-cell engager therapy for HLA-A*02:01 genotype-positive uveal melanoma, are also available to patients. Despite the remarkable efficacy of these regimens for many patients with cutaneous melanoma, traditional immunotherapy biomarkers (ie, programmed death-ligand 1 expression, tumor mutational burden, T-cell infiltrate and/or microsatellite stability) have failed to reliably predict response. Furthermore, ICIs are associated with unique toxicity profiles, particularly for the highly active combination of anti-PD-1 plus anti-CTLA-4 agents. The Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC) convened a panel of experts to develop this clinical practice guideline on immunotherapy for the treatment of melanoma, including rare subtypes of the disease (eg, uveal, mucosal), with the goal of improving patient care by providing guidance to the oncology community. Drawing from published data and clinical experience, the Expert Panel developed evidence- and consensus-based recommendations for healthcare professionals using immunotherapy to treat melanoma, with topics including therapy selection in the advanced and perioperative settings, intratumoral immunotherapy, when to use immunotherapy for patients with BRAFV600-mutated disease, management of patients with brain metastases, evaluation of treatment response, special patient populations, patient education, quality of life, and survivorship, among others.

Keywords: guidelines as topic; melanoma.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy
  • Melanoma* / drug therapy
  • Melanoma, Cutaneous Malignant
  • Quality of Life
  • Skin Neoplasms*