Effect of gamma knife radiosurgery and programmed cell death 1 receptor antagonists on metastatic melanoma Journal Article uri icon
  • Learning objectives To evaluate radiation-induced changes in patients with brain metastasis secondary to malignant melanoma who received treatment with Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) and programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) receptor antagonists. Introduction Stereotactic radiosurgery and chemotherapeutics are used together for treatment of metastatic melanoma and have been linked to delayed radiation-induced vasculitic leukoencephalopathy (DRIVL). There have been reports of more intense interactions with new immunotherapeutics targeting PD-1 receptors, but their interactions have not been well described and may result in an accelerated response to GKRS. Here we present data on subjects treated with this combination from a single institution. Methods Records from patients who underwent treatment for metastatic melanoma to the brain with GKRS from 2011 to 2016 were reviewed. Demographics, date of brain metastasis diagnosis, cause of death when applicable, immunotherapeutics, and imaging findings were recorded. The timing of radiation therapy and medications were also documented. Results A total of 79 subjects were treated with GKRS, and 66 underwent treatment with both GKRS and immunotherapy. Regarding the 30 patients treated with anti-PD-1 immunotherapy, 21 patients received pembrolizumab, seven patients received nivolumab, and two patients received pembrolizumab and nivolumab. Serial imaging was available for interpretation in 25 patients, with 13 subjects who received GKRS and anti-PD-1 immunotherapy less than six weeks of each other. While four subjects had indeterminate/mixed findings on subsequent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), nine subjects were noted to have progression. Two of these patients showed progression but subsequent imaging revealed a decrease in progression or improvement on MRI to previously targeted lesions by GKRS. None of the 13 subjects had surgery following their combined therapies. Conclusions This data suggests that there is need for further investigation of the role for concurrent treatment with PD-1 inhibitors and GKRS to enhance the treatment of metastatic melanoma. We present data on 13 patients who appear to have some radiologic benefit to this treatment combination, two of whom had radiographic pseudoprogression.

  • Link to Article
    publication date
  • 2017
  • published in
  • Cureus  Journal
  • Research
  • Brain
  • Radiography
  • Skin Cancer
  • Surgery
  • Additional Document Info
  • 9
  • issue
  • 12