Vitiligo Could Be a Marker of Efficacy for Melanoma Drugs, Study Indicates

The retrospective analysis conducted in stage 3 and 4 immunotherapy-treated melanoma patients found that the development of vitiligo could serve as a clinical marker for effective antimelanoma immunity and improved clinical outcome.

The development of vitiligo in melanoma patients on immunotherapy may predict improved survival, according to findings from a systematic review and meta-analysis.

In 137 studies reported between 1995 and 2013 and including 5737 patients with stage 3 to 4 melanoma who were treated with immunotherapy, the pooled cumulative incidence of vitiligo was 3.4%. In those with vitiligo for whom individual patient data were available, both progression-free and overall survival were significantly improved, compared with those without vitiligo after researchers adjusted for age and sex (hazard ratio, 0.51 and 0.25, respectively), Hansje-Eva Teulings, MD, of the University of Amsterdam and her colleagues reported online January 19 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

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