Medical Oncology

, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 1140–1144 | Cite as

Continuous systemic corticosteroids do not affect the ongoing regression of metastatic melanoma for more than two years following ipilimumab therapy

  • Kaan HarmankayaEmail author
  • Christa Erasim
  • Claus Koelblinger
  • Ramy Ibrahim
  • Axel Hoos
  • Hubert Pehamberger
  • Michael Binder
Original paper


Malignant melanoma is an aggressive skin cancer with no effective therapies currently approved for advanced disease. In the case presented, a 55-year-old female patient diagnosed with widespread disease from amelanotic desmoplastic melanoma was treated with 10 mg/kg ipilimumab as part of a phase II clinical trial (CA184-008). Prior to ipilimumab, three chemotherapeutic regimens had failed. Ipilimumab acts as a T-cell potentiator via blockade of cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4, a negative regulator of T-cell activation. Response to ipilimumab treatment was rapid, with a substantial drop in tumor volume within 12 weeks of treatment initiation. Based on the appearance of a new subcutaneous lesion, reinduction with ipilimumab was performed at Week 30. Following reinduction, the appearance of another small new lesion made the patient ineligible, as per protocol, for further dosing despite stabilization of her remaining lesions. Ipilimumab-associated immune-related adverse events were manageable with the use of treatment guidelines. It is of remarkable immunotherapeutic importance that no new lesions emerged and gradual tumor regression is still ongoing more than 2 years following the last dose of ipilimumab, despite daily administration of systemic corticosteroids to manage drug-induced AEs. The ongoing clinical response is maintained without any further antineoplastic treatment.


Ipilimumab Immunotherapy Melanoma Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4 CTLA-4 Immune-related adverse events β-human chorionic gonadotropin 



β-subunit of human chorionic gonadotropin


Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4


Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group Performance Status


Immune-related adverse event


Overall survival


Progressive disease


Sum of the perpendicular diameters of tumor


Thyroid-stimulating hormone


Upper limit of normal


World Health Organization



Editorial and writing assistance provided by StemScientific, funded by Bristol-Myers Squibb Company.

Acknowledgment of support

Dr. Harmankaya did not receive any research support for these studies.


KH and CE served as study coordinators for the studies described in this manuscript. HP and MB were principal investigators for the CA184-008 and CA184-025 studies, respectively. CK has nothing to disclose. RI and AH are employees of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kaan Harmankaya
    • 1
    Email author
  • Christa Erasim
    • 1
  • Claus Koelblinger
    • 2
  • Ramy Ibrahim
    • 3
  • Axel Hoos
    • 3
  • Hubert Pehamberger
    • 1
  • Michael Binder
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Dermatology, Division of General DermatologyMedical University of ViennaViennaAustria
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyMedical University of ViennaViennaAustria
  3. 3.Bristol-Myers Squibb CompanyWallingfordUSA

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