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Efficacy of Immune Checkpoint Inhibitor (ICI) Rechallenge in Advanced Melanoma Patients’ Responders to a First Course of ICI: A Multicenter National Retrospective Study of the French Group of Skin Cancers (Groupe de Cancérologie Cutanée, GCC)

  • nardin;, charlée
Publication Date
Jul 10, 2023
DOI: 10.3390/cancers15143564
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Background: The long-term effectiveness of immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) rechallenge for progressive or recurrent advanced melanoma following previous disease control induced by ICI has not been thoroughly described in the literature. Patients and methods: In this retrospective multicenter national real-life study, we enrolled patients who had been rechallenged with an ICI after achieving disease control with a first course of ICI, which was subsequently interrupted. The primary objective was to evaluate tumor response, while the secondary objectives included assessing the safety profile, identifying factors associated with tumor response, and evaluating survival outcomes. Results: A total of 85 patients from 12 centers were included in the study. These patients had advanced (unresectable stage III or stage IV) melanoma that had been previously treated and controlled with a first course of ICI before undergoing rechallenge with ICI. The rechallenge treatments consisted of pembrolizumab (n = 44, 52%), nivolumab (n = 35, 41%), ipilimumab (n = 2, 2%), or ipilimumab plus nivolumab (n = 4, 5%). The best overall response rate was 54%. The best response was a complete response in 30 patients (35%), a partial response in 16 patients (19%), stable disease in 18 patients (21%) and progressive disease in 21 patients (25%). Twenty-eight adverse events (AEs) were reported in 23 patients (27%), including 18 grade 1–2 AEs in 14 patients (16%) and 10 grade 3–4 AEs in nine patients (11%). The median progression-free survival (PFS) was 21 months, and the median overall survival (OS) was not reached at the time of analysis. Patients who received another systemic treatment (chemotherapy, targeted therapy or clinical trial) between the two courses of ICI had a lower response to rechallenge (p = 0.035) and shorter PFS (p = 0.016). Conclusion: Rechallenging advanced melanoma patients with ICI after previous disease control induced by these inhibitors resulted in high response rates (54%) and disease control (75%). Therefore, ICI rechallenge should be considered as a relevant therapeutic option.

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