The use of pembrolizumab for the treatment of metastatic uveal melanoma

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59 Scopus citations


Uveal melanoma is a rare type of melanoma, with only five to seven cases per one million persons diagnosed each year. Patients with metastatic melanoma of uveal origin tend to have lower response rates on traditional therapies. Herein we report our experience with 10 patients with metastatic uveal melanoma (MUM) who received pembrolizumab. Eligible patients were more than or equal to 18 years old, had unresectable MUM, progressed on prior ipilimumab therapy, had good performance status (Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group of 0 or 1), and adequate organ and marrow function. Patients could have central nervous system disease, but needed to be clinically stable. Patients were treated with 2 mg/kg pembrolizumab intravenously over 30 min every 3 weeks until disease progression, unacceptable toxicity, or for up to 2 years. Between April 2014 and October 2014, we treated a total of 10 patients with MUM with pembrolizumab. Median age was 65 years, with 70% being female. As of the data cutoff date of 14 May 2015, median progression-free survival was 18 weeks (range 3.14-49.3 weeks), with four patients still currently receiving therapy. Of eight evaluable patients, there was one complete response, two partial responses, and one patient with stable disease. Four patients had rapidly progressive disease. Toxicities were as expected and were usually grade 1/2 in nature. Although this cohort of patients was small, to our knowledge this is the first such report of outcomes in uveal melanoma patients being treated with anti-PD1 therapy. In the absence of a clinical trial, treatment with pembrolizumab appears to be a viable option for patients with MUM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)300-303
Number of pages4
JournalMelanoma research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2016


  • anti-PD1
  • immunotherapy
  • metastatic melanoma
  • pembrolizumab
  • uveal melanoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Dermatology
  • Cancer Research


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