• Ocular Pathology/Oncology

    Researchers investigated whether programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) inhibitors can treat metastatic conjunctival melanoma.

    Study design

    This study included a retrospective review of 5 patients with conjunctival melanoma who were treated with an immune checkpoint inhibitor between 2013 and 2017.


    Four patients were treated with the PD-1 inhibitor nivolumab responded positively with no evidence of disease at the 1-, 7-, 9- or 36-month follow-up. Two nivolumab-treated patients developed autoimmune colitis, and were subsequently managed with systemic corticosteroids or infliximab.

    One patient was treated with a different PD-1 inhibitor, pembrolizumab, and had stable disease for 6 months. However, the patient experienced minor progression of metastases and minor tracheoesophageal and periesophageal lymphadenopathy at 11 months and was switched to another therapy.


    This study was limited by the very small number of patients and short follow-up time.

    Clinical significance

    Checkpoint inhibitors may be a promising treatment for metastatic conjunctival melanoma.