Two patients were treated with immunotherapy for metastatic malignant melanoma (MM) despite suffering from systemic autoimmune disease, i.e., ulcerative colitis (UC) and Behcets disease (BD), respectively. Both patients benefitted from the treatment. The patient with UC achieved partial remission of all measurable parameters after treatment with Ipilimumab, while the patient with BD achieved a complete remission of MM after treatment with Interleukin-2 (IL-2) and Interferon-α (IFN-α). Moreover, no aggravation of symptoms related to the autoimmune diseases was seen during treatment, in contrast, clinical indications of improvement were observed. These two cases illustrate that the presence of autoimmune disease does not necessarily predict increased autoimmune toxicity in connection with immunotherapy. They also raise the question of whether autoimmune disease should continue to be an absolute exclusion criterion for treatment of MM with immunotherapy. Consequently, given the poor prognosis of refractory MM, immunotherapies need to be taken into consideration even in cases of autoimmune comorbidity due to the potential long-term benefit that these therapies offer to MM patients.
Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy : Cii, 2014, Vol 63, Issue 12, p. 1341-6