Adjuvant Anti-PD-1 Antibody Therapy for Advanced Melanoma: A Multicentre Study of 78 Japanese Cases


  • Yusuke Muto Department of Dermatology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine
  • Yumi Kambayashi Department of Dermatology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine
  • Hiroshi Kato 2. Department of Geriatric and Environmental Dermatology, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences
  • Satoshi Fukushima 3. Department of Dermatology and Plastic Surgery, Faculty of Life Sciences, Kumamoto University
  • Takamichi Ito Department of Dermatology, Graduate School of Medical Science, Kyushu University
  • Takeo Maekawa Department of Dermatology, Jichi Medical University
  • Yasuhiro Fujisawa Department of Dermatology, Faculty of University of Tsukuba
  • Koji Yoshino Department of Dermato-Oncology/Dermatology, Tokyo Metropolitan Cancer and Infectious Disease Center Komagome Hospital
  • Hiroshi Uchi Department of Dermato-Oncology, National Hospital Organization Kyushu Cancer Center
  • Shigeto Matsushita Department of Dermato-Oncology/Dermatology, National Hospital Organization Kagoshima Medical Center
  • Yuki Yamamoto Department of Dermatology, Wakayama Medical University
  • Ryo Amagai Department of Dermatology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine
  • Kentaro Ohuchi Department of Dermatology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine
  • Akira Hashimoto Department of Dermatology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine
  • Taku Fujimura Department of Dermatology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, 1-1 Seiryo-machi, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Miyagi 980-8574, Japan



adjuvant therapy, acral melanoma, anti-PD1 Abs, RFS


Anti-PD-1 antibodies (Abs) are among the optimal adjuvant therapies for melanoma at high risk of recurrence, especially BRAF wild-type melanoma, but the anti-tumour effects of anti-PD-1 Abs in the adjuvant setting for acral melanoma have not been evaluated previously. The aim of this study was to analyse the efficacy and safety profiles of anti-PD-1 Ab monotherapy in the adjuvant setting in an Asian population including a high ratio of acral melanoma. The efficacy and safety profiles of anti-PD-1 Ab monotherapy in the adjuvant setting were retrospectively analysed in 78 Japanese patients with advanced melanoma, including 31 cases (40%) of acral melanoma. Overall relapse-free survival was 60.3% (47 of 78 cases, 95% confidence interval (CI) 49.2–70.4%), and 39.7% of patients (31 of 78 patients, 95% CI 29.6–50.8%) relapsed during the adjuvant PD-1 Ab treatment. Six cases (7.9%) discontinued the protocol due to serious adverse events. One case (1.3%) discontinued the protocol due to trauma. The relapse-free survival of acral melanoma was 25.8%, whereas that of high cumulative sun damage was 60.0%, and that of low cumulative sun damage was 57.1%. The acral type had a significantly lower 12-month relapse-free survival than other cutaneous types (p = 0.029). The acral type appeared to be an independent prognostic factor on multivariate analysis (p = 0.015). Adverse events due to anti-PD-1 antibody were observed in 37.1% overall. The results of this study suggest that anti-PD-1 Ab therapy in the adjuvant setting is less effective for acral melanoma than for other cutaneous types.


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How to Cite

Muto, Y., Kambayashi, Y., Kato, H., Fukushima, S., Ito, T., Maekawa, T., Fujisawa, Y., Yoshino, K., Uchi, H., Matsushita, S., Yamamoto, Y., Amagai, R., Ohuchi, K., Hashimoto, A., & Fujimura, T. (2022). Adjuvant Anti-PD-1 Antibody Therapy for Advanced Melanoma: A Multicentre Study of 78 Japanese Cases. Acta Dermato-Venereologica, 102, adv00756.