Background: Ipilimumab and programmed death (PD) 1-antibodies are effective treatment options in metastatic melanoma. The safety and efficacy of ipilimumab in patients with pre-existing autoimmune disorders (AD) has only been evaluated in a selected number of patients. Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis in 14 German skin cancer centers for patients with metastatic melanoma and pre-existing AD treated with ipilimumab. Results: 41 patients with 44 pre-existing AD were treated with ipilimumab (thyroiditis n = 15, rheumatoid n = 11, dermatologic n = 10, Crohn’s disease/ulcerative colitis n = 3, neurological n = 2, sarcoidosis n = 2, pancreatitis n = 1). 3 out of 41 patients had two AD, 11 patients required immunosuppressants at the time of induction of ipilimumab. 12 patients (29.2%) experienced a flare of their pre-existing AD, mainly patients with rheumatoid or dermatologic diseases. Additional immune-related adverse events (irAEs) occurred in 12 patients (29.2%). In 23 patients (56%) neither a change of their AD nor additional irAEs were observed. Objective responses were seen in five patients (one complete remission, four partial remissions, 12.1%). Conclusion: This is the largest series of patients with pre-existing AD and treatment with ipilimumab reported. Flares of pre-existing AD were observed but manageable. Response rates and occurrence of new irAEs were comparable to previous trials. Thus, in this patient subgroup, ipilimumab can be a treatment option after a thorough discussion of pros and cons and taking severity and activity of the preexisting AD into account.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)