International Journal of Molecular Sciences (Sep 2018)

Robotic Stereotactic Radiosurgery in Melanoma Patients with Brain Metastases under Simultaneous Anti-PD-1 Treatment

  • Maike Trommer-Nestler,
  • Simone Marnitz,
  • Martin Kocher,
  • Daniel Rueß,
  • Max Schlaak,
  • Sebastian Theurich,
  • Michael von Bergwelt-Baildon,
  • Janis Morgenthaler,
  • Karolina Jablonska,
  • Eren Celik,
  • Maximilian I. Ruge,
  • Christian Baues

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 19, no. 9
p. 2653


Read online

Combination concepts of radiotherapy and immune checkpoint inhibition are currently of high interest. We examined imaging findings, acute toxicity, and local control in patients with melanoma brain metastases receiving programmed death 1 (PD-1) inhibitors and/or robotic stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). Twenty-six patients treated with SRS alone (n = 13; 20 lesions) or in combination with anti-PD-1 therapy (n = 13; 28 lesions) were analyzed. Lesion size was evaluated three and six months after SRS using a volumetric assessment based on cranial magnetic resonance imaging (cMRI) and acute toxicity after 12 weeks according to the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE). Local control after six months was comparable (86%, SRS + anti-PD-1, and 80%, SRS). All toxicities reported were less than or equal to grade 2. One metastasis (5%) in the SRS group and six (21%) in the SRS + anti-PD-1 group increased after three months, whereas four (14%) of the six regressed during further follow-ups. This was rated as pseudoprogression (PsP). Three patients (23%) in the SRS + anti-PD-1 group showed characteristics of PsP. Treatment with SRS and anti-PD-1 antibodies can be combined safely in melanoma patients with cerebral metastases. Early volumetric progression of lesions under simultaneous treatment may be related to PsP; thus, the evaluation of combined radioimmunotherapy remains challenging and requires experienced teams.