Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) are effective in cutaneous metastatic melanoma patients aged 65 years and older (J Geriatr Oncol. 2020;S1879-406830450-1. doi:10.1016/j.jgo.2020.09.023).
ICIs are known to be successful in treating advanced melanoma, but their success in patients 65 years and older is less clear because of an age-related decline in immune function.
Authors aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of ICIs in this population through a retrospective cohort study of patients 65 years and older who were diagnosed with stage IV cutaneous melanoma between 2012 and 2015. SEER-Medicare data was used to evaluate survival by first systemic treatment type.
The median survival was the longest for patients treated with PD-1 inhibitors (34 months) compared with other therapies. The ICI survival benefit remained consistent after adjusting for age. Hazard ratios comparing ICIs to no systemic therapy were 0.35 (95% CI: 0.24–0.52) for PD-1 inhibitors and 0.48 (95% CI: 0.37–0.63) for CTLA-4 inhibitors.
“In a nationally representative cohort of patients with advanced melanoma, ICI therapy delivered in a real-world setting significantly improved survival in patients aged 65 years and older,” concluded the study authors.—Lisa Kuhns