Immunotherapy for the Treatment of Uveal Melanoma: Current Status and Emerging Therapies

  • Kimberly M. Komatsubara
  • Richard D. Carvajal
Melanoma (RJ Sullivan, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Melanoma


Purpose of Review

Uveal melanoma is a distinct subset of melanoma with a biology and treatment approach that is unique from that of cutaneous melanoma. Here we will review the current data evaluating immunotherapies in both the adjuvant and metastatic settings in uveal melanoma.

Recent Findings

In the adjuvant setting, interferon demonstrated no survival benefit in uveal melanoma, and studies evaluating immune-based strategies such as vaccine therapy are ongoing. Anti-CTLA-4 and anti-PD-1/ PD-L1 blockade in uveal melanoma have been evaluated in several small prospective and/or retrospective studies with rare responses and no overall survival benefit demonstrated. Ongoing studies evaluating combination checkpoint inhibition and other antibody-based therapies are ongoing.


Although immunotherapy with anti-CTLA-4 and anti-PD-1 agents has dramatically changed the treatment approach to cutaneous melanoma, its success in uveal melanoma has been much more limited. Clinical trial participation should be prioritized in patients with uveal melanoma.


Uveal melanoma Ocular melanoma Immunotherapy Checkpoint inhibitors CTLA-4 PD-1 PD-L1 Ipilimumab Nivolumab Pembrolizumab 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Kimberly M. Komatsubara declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Richard D. Carvajal has received compensation from Immunocore, Merck, and Bristol-Myers Squibb for service as a consultant.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kimberly M. Komatsubara
    • 1
  • Richard D. Carvajal
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Hematology/OncologyColumbia University Medical CenterNew YorkUSA

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