Clinical and histologic findings in patients with uveal melanomas after taking tumor necrosis factor-α inhibitors

Gena Damento, Shaheen C. Kavoussi, Miguel A. Materin, Diva R. Salomão, Polly A. Quiram, Soranya Balasubramaniam, Jose S. Pulido

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective To describe the progression of uveal melanocytic lesions to melanomas after initiation of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) inhibitors.

Patients and Methods We report 3 cases of uveal melanoma occurring after treatment with TNF-α inhibitors, 2 from Mayo Clinic and 1 from Yale University. The study took place from February 27, 2009, through July 15, 2013.

Results Two women and one man with inflammatory disease who received TNF-α inhibitors had subsequent development of uveal melanomas. The 2 women had inflammatory bowel disease and had been followed up for melanocytic tumors that grew markedly within 1 year after beginning treatment with TNF-α inhibitors to the point of requiring treatment. One had histologic confirmation of the melanoma. The male patient had rheumatoid arthritis that was being treated with TNF-α inhibitors. Serial ultrasonography was performed to monitor bilateral diffuse scleritis, and within 16 months of initiation of TNF-α inhibitor therapy, a choroidal mass was detected that continued to grow over the next 3 months. The patient elected to have enucleation, which revealed uveal melanoma and thinning of the sclera from the previous scleritis. Conclusion Our 3 cases of uveal melanocytic tumors occurring after the use of TNF-α inhibitors add to the growing literature suggesting a correlation between TNF-α inhibitors and the development of malignant neoplasms.

Considering the association between cutaneous melanoma and TNF-α inhibitors, we recommend that patients have an eye examination before initiation of TNF-α inhibitors, and those with preexisting nevi should be followed up at regular intervals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1481-1486
Number of pages6
JournalMayo Clinic proceedings
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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