Sex-Based Differences in Treatment with Immune Checkpoint Inhibition and Targeted Therapy for Advanced Melanoma: A Nationwide Cohort Study

M.K. van der Kooij, O.M. Dekkers, M.J.B. Aarts, F.W.P.J. van den Berkmortel, M.J. Boers-Sonderen, J.W.B. de Groot, G.A.P. Hospers, D. Piersma, R.S. van Rijn, K.P.M. Suijkerbuijk, H.M. Westgeest, A.A.M. van der Veldt, G. Vreugdenhil, S. Wilgenhof, M.W.J.M. Wouters, J.B.A.G. Haanen, A.J.M. van den Eertwegh, E. Kapiteijn*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)


Simple Summary Melanoma is a malignant form of skin cancer. The overall survival of patients with advanced stages of disease were initially low. Fortunately, in recent years systemic treatment with immunotherapy has prolonged survival. We set out to answer the question whether men and women with advanced melanoma differ in prognostic factors, tumor-response to immunotherapy, and treatment-related adverse events. All patients in the Netherlands were registered between July 2013 and July 2018. We showed that although clinical and tumor characteristics differ, the safety profile of immunotherapy is comparable. Furthermore, overall, a 10% survival advantage for women was seen. Following immunotherapy there was no survival difference. Recent meta-analyses show conflicting data on sex-dependent benefit following systemic treatment for advanced melanoma patients. We examined the nationwide Dutch Melanoma Treatment Registry (July 2013-July 2018), assessing sex-dependent differences in advanced melanoma patients (stage IIIC/IV) with respect to clinical characteristics, mutational profiles, treatments initiated, grade 3-4 adverse events (AEs), treatment responses, and mortality. We included 3985 patients, 2363 men (59%) and showed that although men and women with advanced melanoma differ in clinical and tumor characteristics, the safety profile of immune checkpoint inhibition (ICI) is comparable. The data suggest a 10% survival advantage for women, mainly seen in patients >= 60 years of age and patients with BRAF V600 mutant melanoma. Following ICI there was no survival difference.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4639
Number of pages13
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2021


  • advanced melanoma
  • immunotherapy
  • prospective nation-wide data
  • sex
  • targeted therapy
  • BRAF

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