Prognostic 18F-FDG PET biomarkers in metastatic mucosal and cutaneous melanoma treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors targeting PD-1 and CTLA-4

Romain David Seban, Antoine Moya-Plana, Lara Antonios, Randy Yeh, Aurélien Marabelle, Eric Deutsch, Lawrence H. Schwartz, Ruth Gabriela Herrera Gómez, Yvonne Saenger, Caroline Robert, Samy Ammari, Laurent Dercle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Purpose: To compare the prognostic value of imaging biomarkers derived from a quantitative analysis of baseline 18F-FDG-PET/CT in patients with mucosal melanoma (Muc-M) or cutaneous melanoma (Cut-M) treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs). Methods: In this retrospective monocentric study, we included 56 patients with non-resectable Muc-M (n = 24) or Cut-M (n = 32) who underwent baseline 18F-FDG-PET/CT before treatment with ICIs between 2011 and 2017. Parameters were extracted from (i) tumoral tissues: SUVmax, SUVmean, TMTV (total metabolic tumor volume), and TLG (total lesion glycolysis) and (ii) lymphoid tissues: BLR (bone marrow-to-liver SUVmax ratio) and SLR (spleen-to-liver SUVmax ratio). Association with survival and response was evaluated using Cox prediction models, Student’s t tests, and Spearman’s correlation respectively. p < 0.05 was considered significant. Results: Majority of ICIs were anti-PD1 (92.9%, n = 52/56). All 18F-FDG-PET/CT were positive. Overall (Muc-M to Cut-M), ORR was 33%:42%, DCR was 56%:69%, median follow-up was 25.0:28.9 months, median PFS was 4.7:10.7 months, and median OS was 23.9:28.3 months. In Muc-M, increased tumor SUVmax was associated with shorter OS while it was not correlated with PFS, ORR, or DCR. In Cut-M, increased TMTV and increased BLR were independently associated with shorter OS, shorter PFS, and lower response (ORR, DCR). Conclusion: While all Muc-M and Cut-M were FDG avid, prognostic imaging biomarkers differed. For Muc-M patients treated with ICI, the only prognostic imaging biomarker was a high baseline maximal glycolytic activity (SUVmax), whereas for Cut-M patients, baseline metabolic tumor burden or bone marrow metabolism was negatively correlated to ICI response duration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2301-2312
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Issue number10
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomarkers
  • Immunotherapy
  • Melanoma
  • Positron emission tomography computed tomography
  • Prognosis
  • Programmed cell death 1 receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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