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Recent experience with immune checkpoint and kinase inhibitors shows significant and unexpected side-effects

Lejeune, Ferdy J. on behalf of the Editors

doi: 10.1097/CMR.0000000000000503

Department of Oncology, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV), University of Lausanne, Switzerland

Correspondence to Ferdy J. Lejeune, MD, PhD, Department of Oncology, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois (CHUV), University of Lausanne, 1005 Lausanne, Switzerland Tel: +41 763 261 806; e-mail:

Received August 9, 2018

Accepted August 9, 2018

New side-effects observed in melanoma patients receiving immune checkpoint and/or kinase inhibitors are a matter of concern. With increasing experience, oncologists are becoming aware that some of their patients develop side-effects that were not noticed at the advent of these therapies and that some of them are unusual.

In view of the significance of these observations, and the importance of reporting side-effects of new therapies, we have taken the decision to prioritize these reports.

Melanoma Research has published many new findings and there has been a continuous increase in the number of reports relating to immunotherapy and kinase inhibitors. In volumes 26 (2016), 27 (2017) and 28 (partial, 2018), 60% of the full articles and 57% of Short Communications/Letters in Clinical Research fell into this category. Although the majority (58%) of full papers focused on efficacy, only 3% focused on toxicity. In contrast, 33% of short communications were related to toxicity and side-effects, as listed in Table 1 below.

Table 1

Table 1

We recognize the preference for short reports for rapidly communicating new findings on the toxicity of novel therapies. There is no doubt that these therapies have created a revolution in the treatment of melanoma that was deemed incurable in the past and later on treated by chemotherapy with modest results. On a positive note, it is clear that the increasing number of reports on new side-effects represents a good sign. The oncology community realizes that reporting side-effects is very useful not only in terms of alerting clinicians but also in contributing to the knowledge of the modes of action of these new therapies and also the off-target effects.

Melanoma Research will continue its policy to accept and rapidly publish short reports on the new generation of antimelanoma therapies as a means of helping oncologists to treat their patients with heightened efficacy and awareness.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

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