Dr. Johnson on the Risks and Benefits Associated with Anti–PD-1 Therapy in Melanoma

March 31, 2021
Douglas B. Johnson, MD

Partner | Cancer Centers | <b>Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center</b>

Douglas B. Johnson, MD, discusses the risks and benefits associated with anti–PD-1 therapy in patients with stage III resected melanoma.

Douglas B. Johnson, MD, an assistant professor of Medicine and Hematology/Oncology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, discusses the risks and benefits associated with anti–PD-1 therapy in patients with stage III resected melanoma.

In a recent study that was published in JAMA Oncology, investigators found that of 387 patients with stage III to IV melanoma, 43.2% who received an anti–PD-1 therapy developed chronic immune-related adverse effects (AEs), defined as those that persisted beyond 12 weeks of anti–PD-1 discontinuation. Despite this, anti–PD-1 agents have demonstrated improved outcomes in patients with melanoma and should still be used in treatment, Johnson says.

For a subset of patients who have very low-risk stage III melanoma, however, it is important to consider whether these agents are necessary, Johnson adds. Although these agents can potentially be used in this population, a discussion about the risks vs the benefits is necessary because due to the possibility of chronic AEs, Johnson concludes.


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