Stereotactic radiosurgery and ipilimumab for patients with melanoma brain metastases: clinical outcomes and toxicity

Kevin Diao, Shelly X. Bian, David M. Routman, Cheng Yu, Jason C. Ye, Naveed A. Wagle, Michael K. Wong, Gabriel Zada, Eric L. Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: There is evidence that the combination of ipilimumab and stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for brain metastases improves outcomes. We investigated clinical outcomes, radiation toxicity, and impact of ipilimumab timing in patients treated with SRS for melanoma brain metastases. Methods: We retrospectively identified 91 patients treated with SRS at our institution for melanoma brain metastases from 2006 to 2015. Concurrent ipilimumab administration was defined as within ± 4 weeks of SRS procedure. Acute and late toxicities were graded with CTCAE v4.03. Overall survival (OS), local failure, distant brain failure, and failure-free survival were analyzed with the Kaplan–Meier method. OS was analyzed with Cox regression. Results: Twenty-three patients received ipilimumab concurrent with SRS, 28 patients non-concurrently, and 40 patients did not receive ipilimumab. The median age was 62 years and 91% had KPS ≥ 80. The median follow-up time was 7.4 months. Patients who received ipilimumab had a median OS of 15.1 months compared to 7.8 months in patients who did not (p = 0.02). In multivariate analysis, ipilimumab (p = 0.02) and diagnosis-specific graded prognostic assessment (p = 0.02) were associated with OS. There were no differences in intracranial control by ipilimumab administration or timing. The incidence of radiation necrosis was 5%, with most events occurring in patients who received ipilimumab. Conclusions: Patients who received ipilimumab had improved OS even after adjusting for prognostic factors. Ipilimumab did not appear to increase risk for acute toxicity. The majority of radiation necrosis events, however, occurred in patients who received ipilimumab. Our results support the continued use of SRS and ipilimumab as clinically appropriate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)421-429
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of neuro-oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018


  • Clinical outcomes
  • Ipilimumab immunotherapy
  • Melanoma brain metastases
  • Radiation toxicity
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cancer Research


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