Promising Checkpoint Inhibitor Therapy for Treating Metastatic Conjunctival Melanoma


In a recent study, a team of researchers has investigated whether or not PD-1 (programmed cell death) inhibitors can help in treating metastatic conjunctival melanoma.

The given study by the researchers consisted of presenting a retrospective review of around five patients having conjunctival melanoma.  These patients were treated with a specialized immune checkpoint inhibitor between the duration of 2013 and 2017.

The outcomes of the particular study have been quite promising in the pretext of providing relevant treatment for metastatic conjunctival melanoma.  In the given study, four patients were given treatment with PD-1 (Programmed Cell Death) inhibitor named “Nivolumab.”  These patients were observed to respond well to the treatment with no evidence of the disease during the follow-up of the disease during the 1, 7, 9, and 36 month duration.  Two patients who had been treated with the inhibitor Nivolumab were observed to have developed autoimmune colitis.  Subsequently, the patients and their conditions were managed with infliximab or systematic corticosteroids.

Out of five patients, one patient was given the treatment with a different type of PD-1 inhibitor termed as “pembrolizumab.”  As a result of the treatment, the patient had stable disease for around six months.  However, with the given treatment, the patient experienced the minor progression of metastatic conjunctival melanoma, periesophageal lymphadenopathy, and minor tracheoesophageal at the course of 11 months.  Therefore, the patient had to be switched to another therapy.

The researchers observed that the given treatment had some limitations.  The particular study was limited by the presence of very few patients and the reduced follow-up duration.  As far as the overall clinical significance of the treatment is concerned, the checkpoint inhibitors can serve to be a promising treatment for treating metastatic conjunctival melanoma.

About Metastatic Conjunctival Melanoma

Conjunctival melanoma is quite rare, but a serious ocular malignancy that turns out potentially dangerous in most cases. It is observed as a red spot on the eyes for several months or years as focal conjunctivitis that remains resistant to the topical medications. Most of the patients having conjunctival melanoma might report symptoms of having a painless pink or brown lesion on the surface of the eye for several months or years. Given the seriousness of the condition, it is recommended to seek medical assistance as soon as possible.