Combined immunotherapy and radiation for treatment of mucosal melanomas of the lower genital tract Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Genital Neoplasms, Female


  • © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. Objective To report our experience using ipilimumab, a monoclonal antibody targeting CTLA-4, combined with radiation therapy in women diagnosed with mucosal melanoma of the lower genital tract. Methods We retrospectively identified all patients who received ipilimumab with concurrent radiation treatment of mucosal melanoma of the lower genital tract at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center from 2012 to 2015. Various clinicopathologic data and treatment response were abstracted and analyzed. Results Four patients were identified. Median age was 61.5 years (range 44-68); 3 were diagnosed with vaginal melanoma, 1 with cervical melanoma. All would have required extensive surgical procedures to remove entirety of disease. Median size of lesions was 4.7 cm (range, 3.3-5.3); all were Ballantyne stage I. Median number of doses of upfront ipilimumab was 4 (range, 3-4). Two patients suffered CTCAE grade 3 adverse events (colitis, rash). All received external beam radiation: 3 to 3000 cGy, 1 to 6020 cGy. Post-radiation surgical resection was performed in 3 patients (75%); 1 (33%) of 3 patients achieved complete pathologic response. Complete local radiographic response was observed in all patients after completion of initial therapy and surgery. Two developed recurrence at 9 and 10 months post-diagnosis (mediastinum, lung); 2 remain disease-free at 20 and 38 months. Conclusions Mucosal melanoma of the lower genital tract is rare, and data-driven treatment strategies limited. Immunotherapy has demonstrated durable efficacy in the treatment of cutaneous melanomas. Our small case series shows a favorable response to combined ipilimumab and radiation therapy. Larger studies are needed to validate these promising results.

publication date

  • April 2016



  • Academic Article



  • eng

PubMed Central ID

  • PMC4899413

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.gore.2016.04.001

PubMed ID

  • 27331137

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 42

end page

  • 46


  • 16