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Combined immune checkpoint inhibitors of CTLA4 and PD-1 for hepatic melanoma of unknown primary origin: A case report

An-Che Cheng, Yi-Jia Lin, Sung-Hua Chiu,
World Journal of Clinical Cases , Volume 9, pp 2641-2648; doi:10.12998/wjcc.v9.i11.2641

Abstract: Melanoma is uncommonly found in lymph nodes, subcutaneous tissue, or visceral organs without a primary lesion, where it is identified as metastatic melanoma with unknown primary (MUP). Hepatic MUP is extremely rare and has a poor prognosis. There is limited information on its pathogenesis, clinical and imaging features, and pathological findings. There are no guidelines for the use of immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) in hepatic MUP, and the treatment outcome has rarely been reported. A 42-year-old woman presented to our hospital with hepatic tumors found incidentally during a routine check-up. Contrast-enhanced abdominal com-puterized tomography showed multiple mass lesions in the liver. Pathological results revealed melanoma, which was confirmed by immunohistochemical staining for HMB-45(+), Melan-A(+), S-100(+), and SOX10(+). There was no evidence of primary cutaneous, ocular, gastrointestinal, or anal lesion on a comprehensive examination. The patient was diagnosed with hepatic MUP. She received combined antibodies against cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4, ipilimumab) and programmed death protein-1 (PD-1, nivolumab). She died of hepatic failure 9 mo after hepatic MUP was diagnosed. This the first case of hepatic MUP treated with combined ipilimumab and nivolumab, who showed better outcome than previous cases. Combined ICIs of PD-1 and CTLA-4 may be considered as the first-line therapy for patients with hepatic MUP.
Keywords: Liver metastasis / Immune checkpoint inhibitor / Case report / Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 / Metastatic melanoma with unknown primary / Programmed death protein-1

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