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      Melanoma-Associated Retinopathy Treated with Ipilimumab Therapy

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          Melanoma-associated retinopathy (MAR) is a rare autoimmune syndrome in patients with melanoma characterized by visual disorders. MAR is induced by the degeneration of bipolar cells of the retina and the presence of serum autoantibodies against retina proteins. Ipilimumab, an anti-cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 antibody, improves survival in previously treated patients with metastatic melanoma, but is responsible for a spectrum of immune-related adverse events. Administration of ipilimumab to patients with autoimmune diseases (such as MAR or vitiligo) is actually not recommended. We report a patient presenting with MAR occurring during a melanoma relapse. Surgery and chemotherapy had no effect on visual acuity and melanoma increased. In the absence of alternative antitumoral treatment, we focused on the vital prognosis and treated the patient with ipilimumab. Two years after the treatment the patient is free from new metastasis but has presented with exacerbation of vitiligo and MAR. In the very rare case of melanoma with autoimmune disease without a therapy option, ipilimumab could be discussed, taking into account the fact that it can be effective on tumor burden but can also increase autoimmunity.

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          Most cited references 12

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          Is Open Access

          The Price of Tumor Control: An Analysis of Rare Side Effects of Anti-CTLA-4 Therapy in Metastatic Melanoma from the Ipilimumab Network

          Background Ipilimumab, a cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4) blocking antibody, has been approved for the treatment of metastatic melanoma and induces adverse events (AE) in up to 64% of patients. Treatment algorithms for the management of common ipilimumab-induced AEs have lead to a reduction of morbidity, e.g. due to bowel perforations. However, the spectrum of less common AEs is expanding as ipilimumab is increasingly applied. Stringent recognition and management of AEs will reduce drug-induced morbidity and costs, and thus, positively impact the cost-benefit ratio of the drug. To facilitate timely identification and adequate management data on rare AEs were analyzed at 19 skin cancer centers. Methods and Findings Patient files (n = 752) were screened for rare ipilimumab-associated AEs. A total of 120 AEs, some of which were life-threatening or even fatal, were reported and summarized by organ system describing the most instructive cases in detail. Previously unreported AEs like drug rash with eosinophilia and systemic symptoms (DRESS), granulomatous inflammation of the central nervous system, and aseptic meningitis, were documented. Obstacles included patientś delay in reporting symptoms and the differentiation of steroid-induced from ipilimumab-induced AEs under steroid treatment. Importantly, response rate was high in this patient population with tumor regression in 30.9% and a tumor control rate of 61.8% in stage IV melanoma patients despite the fact that some patients received only two of four recommended ipilimumab infusions. This suggests that ipilimumab-induced antitumor responses can have an early onset and that severe autoimmune reactions may reflect overtreatment. Conclusion The wide spectrum of ipilimumab-induced AEs demands doctor and patient awareness to reduce morbidity and treatment costs and true ipilimumab success is dictated by both objective tumor responses and controlling severe side effects.
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            Identification of Autoantibodies against TRPM1 in Patients with Paraneoplastic Retinopathy Associated with ON Bipolar Cell Dysfunction

            Background Paraneoplastic retinopathy (PR), including cancer-associated retinopathy (CAR) and melanoma-associated retinopathy (MAR), is a progressive retinal disease caused by antibodies generated against neoplasms not associated with the eye. While several autoantibodies against retinal antigens have been identified, there has been no known autoantibody reacting specifically against bipolar cell antigens in the sera of patients with PR. We previously reported that the transient receptor potential cation channel, subfamily M, member 1 (TRPM1) is specifically expressed in retinal ON bipolar cells and functions as a component of ON bipolar cell transduction channels. In addition, this and other groups have reported that human TRPM1 mutations are associated with the complete form of congenital stationary night blindness. The purpose of the current study is to investigate whether there are autoantibodies against TRPM1 in the sera of PR patients exhibiting ON bipolar cell dysfunction. Methodology/Principal Findings We performed Western blot analysis to identify an autoantibody against TRPM1 in the serum of a patient with lung CAR. The electroretinograms of this patient showed a severely reduced ON response with normal OFF response, indicating that the defect is in the signal transmission between photoreceptors and ON bipolar cells. We also investigated the sera of 26 patients with MAR for autoantibodies against TRPM1 because MAR patients are known to exhibit retinal ON bipolar cell dysfunction. Two of the patients were found to have autoantibodies against TRPM1 in their sera. Conclusion/Significance Our study reveals TRPM1 to be one of the autoantigens targeted by autoantibodies in at least some patients with CAR or MAR associated with retinal ON bipolar cell dysfunction.
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              Photoreceptor proteins as cancer-retina antigens.

              Melanocytes, melanoma and photoreceptor cells are of neuroectodermal origin and have a certain sensitivity to light. In this study, we present evidence for photoreceptor proteins that are responsible for visual transduction and its regulation function as a new class of cancer antigens in melanoma. Visual rhodopsin, transducin, cGMP-phosphodiesterase 6, cGMP-dependent channels, guanylyl cyclase, rhodopsin kinase, recoverin and arrestin are expressed in melanoma and can induce antibody responses in patients. Melanocytes also express mRNA of all photoreceptor genes besides transducin, but were devoid of the corresponding protein, which was tested for rhodopsin, cGMP-phosphodiesterase, guanylyl cyclase and recoverin. Furthermore, we show for the first time that some healthy tissues express mRNA of these genes, but never protein. Expression profiles and autoantibody responses were confirmed in the MT/ret and the HGF(tg)/Ink4a(-/-) transgenic mouse melanoma models. We propose a molecular transition of cancer-retina antigens from mRNA expression in melanocytes to protein expression in melanoma. Our work provides the basis for analyzing regulation of photoreceptor gene expression in normal and malignant cells as well as possible therapeutic tumor targeting using the newly defined class of cancer-retina antigens. (c) 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                November 2013
                14 September 2013
                : 227
                : 2
                : 146-149
                Departments of aInternal Medicine, bDermatology, cOphthalmology and dPathology, Caen University Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, University of Caen, Caen, eClinique Ophthalmologique, Hôpital du Val de Grâce, Paris, fDepartment of Cancero-Dermatology, Nantes University Hospital, Hôtel Dieu, Nantes, and gClinique Saint Jean, Saint-Lô, France
                Author notes
                *A. Audemard, Department of Internal Medicine, CHU Côte de Nacre, BP 95182, FR-14033 Caen Cedex 9 (France), E-Mail
                353408 Dermatology 2013;227:146-149
                © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Figures: 2, Pages: 4
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