Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy

, Volume 63, Issue 12, pp 1341–1346 | Cite as

Successful treatment with Ipilimumab and Interleukin-2 in two patients with metastatic melanoma and systemic autoimmune disease

  • Magnus Pedersen
  • Rikke Andersen
  • Peter Nørgaard
  • Søren Jacobsen
  • Peter Thielsen
  • Per thor Straten
  • Inge Marie Svane
Original Article


Two patients were treated with immunotherapy for metastatic malignant melanoma (MM) despite suffering from systemic autoimmune disease, i.e., ulcerative colitis (UC) and Behcets disease (BD), respectively. Both patients benefitted from the treatment. The patient with UC achieved partial remission of all measurable parameters after treatment with Ipilimumab, while the patient with BD achieved a complete remission of MM after treatment with Interleukin-2 (IL-2) and Interferon-α (IFN-α). Moreover, no aggravation of symptoms related to the autoimmune diseases was seen during treatment, in contrast, clinical indications of improvement were observed. These two cases illustrate that the presence of autoimmune disease does not necessarily predict increased autoimmune toxicity in connection with immunotherapy. They also raise the question of whether autoimmune disease should continue to be an absolute exclusion criterion for treatment of MM with immunotherapy. Consequently, given the poor prognosis of refractory MM, immunotherapies need to be taken into consideration even in cases of autoimmune comorbidity due to the potential long-term benefit that these therapies offer to MM patients.


Metastatic malignant melanoma Immune therapy Systemic autoimmune disease Ipilimumab Interleukin-2 



mAbAnti-cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4 monoclonal antibody


Behcets disease






Malignant melanoma


Ulcerative colitis


Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interests to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Magnus Pedersen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Rikke Andersen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Peter Nørgaard
    • 3
  • Søren Jacobsen
    • 4
  • Peter Thielsen
    • 5
  • Per thor Straten
    • 1
  • Inge Marie Svane
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Haematology and Oncology, Center for Cancer Immune TherapyHerlev Hospital, University of CopenhagenHerlevDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Oncology, Herlev HospitalUniversity of CopenhagenHerlevDenmark
  3. 3.Department of Pathology, Herlev HospitalUniversity of CopenhagenHerlevDenmark
  4. 4.Department of Infectious Diseases and Rheumatology, RigshospitaletCopenhagen University HospitalCopenhagenDenmark
  5. 5.Department of Gastroenterology, Herlev HospitalUniversity of CopenhagenHerlevDenmark

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