Melanoma-associated retinopathy (MAR) is a paraneoplastic syndrome that involves the production of autoantibodies which can cross-react with retinal epitopes leading to visual symptoms. Autoantibodies can target intracellular proteins, and only a few are directed against membrane proteins. This discrepancy in autoantibody–protein target can translate into different immune responses (T-cell mediated vs B-cell mediated). Historically, treatment of MAR has focused on surgical reduction or immunosuppressive medication, mainly glucocorticoids. However, tumor resection is not relevant in metastatic melanoma in which MAR is mostly encountered. Moreover, the use of glucocorticoids can reduce the efficacy of immunotherapy. We report the first case to our knowledge with subjective resolution of visual symptoms and objective evidence of normalization of electroretinogram of MAR with undetectable autoantibodies after administration of programmed death-1 (PD-1) inhibitor (pembrolizumab) without the use of surgical reduction or systemic immunosuppression. This case highlights the potential improvement and resolution of negative autoantibody MAR with the use of PD-1 inhibitors and emphasizes the importance of multidisciplinary approach and team discussion to avoid interventions that can decrease immunotherapy-mediated anti-tumor effect.
- Melanoma-associated retinopathy
- Metastatic melanoma
- Programmed death-1 inhibitors