An immunotherapy survivor population: health-related quality of life and toxicity in patients with metastatic melanoma treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors
Purpose The immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have resulted in subgroups of patients with metastatic melanoma achievinghigh-quality durable responses. Metastatic melanoma survivors are a new population in the era of cancer survivorship. The aimofthis study was to evaluate metastatic melanoma survivors in terms of health-related quality of life (HRQoL), immune-relatedadverse events (irAEs) and exposure to immunosuppressive agents in a large single centre in the UK.Methods We defined the survivor population as patients with a diagnosis of metastatic melanoma who achieved a durableresponse to an ICI and had been followed-up for a minimum of 12 months from initiation of ICI without disease progression.HRQoL was assessed using SF-36. Electronic health records were accessed to collect data on demographics, treatments, irAEsand survival. HRQoL data was compared with two norm-based datasets.Results Eighty-four metastatic melanoma survivors were eligible and 87% (N = 73) completed the SF-36. ICI-related toxicity ofany grade occurred in 92%of patients and 43%had experienced a grade 3 or 4 toxicity. Almost half (49%) of the patients requiredsteroids for the treatment of ICI-related toxicity, whilst 14% required treatment with an immunosuppressive agent beyondsteroids.Melanoma survivors had statistically significant lower HRQoL scores with regard to physical, social and physical rolefunctioning and general health compared with the normative population. There was a trend towards inferior scores in patientswith previous exposure to ipilimumab compared with those never exposed to ipilimumab.Conclusions Our results show that metastatic melanoma survivors have potentially experienced significant ICI-related toxicityand experience significant impairments in specific HRQoL domains. Future service planning is required to meet this population’sunique survivorship needs.