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Posted by on Sep 12, 2021 in Melanoma | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study looked at the skin-related side effects of immune checkpoint inhibitors in the treatment of melanoma. It found that the most common side effects were mild-to-moderate itching, rash, and vitiligo (loss of skin pigment).  

Some background

Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) are a type of immune therapy used to treat melanoma. They work by stimulating the immune system to attack the cancer cells. They have greatly improved the prognosis for advanced melanoma. It is not clear what unwanted effects ICIs may have on the skin in these patients.

Methods & findings

This study reviewed the results of 35 studies involving ICI treatments for melanoma. The ICIs used in the studies were ipilimumab (Yervoy), pembrolizumab (Keytruda), tremelimumab, and nivolumab (Opdivo). The studies reviewed the skin-related side effects associated with these treatments, as well as their severity.

The most common skin-related side effects were itching, rash, and vitiligo (loss of skin pigment).  Pruritus affected 24% of patients, rash affected 21% of patients, and vitiligo affected 10% of patients. All side effects were mild to moderate in severity.

The bottom line

This study showed that the most common skin-related side effects associated with ICIs were mild to moderate itching, rash, and vitiligo. 

The fine print

Some details were not available in the studies reviewed, such as the timing of onset of these side effects. Further studies are needed to see if it is possible to identify patients at high risk of having these side effects so they can be managed promptly.

Published By :


Date :

Aug 07, 2021

Original Title :

Prevalence of dermatological toxicities in patients with melanoma undergoing immunotherapy: Systematic review and meta-analysis.

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