Anti-cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen-4 (CTLA-4) and anti-programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) inhibitors have been shown to significantly improve survival in patients with metastatic cutaneous melanoma. However, there was some heterogeneity as well as some variation in the degree of benefit across studies. We reviewed randomized trials and performed a meta-analysis to determine the efficacy and safety of immune checkpoint inhibitors in comparison with conventional regimens. Eligible studies were limited to randomized controlled trials comparing anti-CTLA-4 or anti-PD-1 inhibitors to chemotherapy or vaccination treatment in adult patients with unresectable cutaneous metastatic melanoma. Progression-free survival (PFS) rate at 6 months was 28.5% versus 17.7% (RR: 0.84, 95% CI: 0.76–0.93), overall survival (OS) rate at 1 year was 51.2% versus 38.8% (RR: 0.72, 95% CI: 0.59–0.88), and overall response rate (ORR) at 6 months was 29.6% versus 17.7% (RR: 0.85, 95% CI: 0.76–0.95) favoring immune check point inhibitors over chemotherapies or vaccination. Immune check point inhibitors were associated with more frequent immune-related adverse events at 13.7% versus 2.4% of treated patients (RR: 6.74, 95% CI: 4.65–9.75). Subgroup analyses demonstrated significant PFS (RR: 0.92 vs. 0.74, P < 0.00001) and ORR (RR: 0.95 vs. 0.76, P = 0.0004) improvement with anti-PD-1 treatment compared to anti-CTLA-4 when each of them was compared to control treatments. Collectively, these results demonstrate that immune checkpoint inhibitors have superior outcomes compared to conventional chemotherapies or vaccination, and support the results of recent randomized trials that showed superior outcomes with anti-PD-1 agents over ipilimumab in unresectable metastatic cutaneous melanoma patients.
- metastatic melanoma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cancer Research