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These adverse events linked to improved cancer prognosis



Cutaneous immune-related adverse events are associated with improved overall and progression-free survival among patients treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs).


  • Emerging evidence suggests that the presence of cutaneous immune-related adverse events may be linked with favorable outcomes among patients with cancer who receive ICIs.
  • Researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis that included 23 studies and a total of 22,749 patients with cancer who received ICI treatment; studies compared outcomes among patients with and those without cutaneous immune-related adverse events.
  • The major outcomes evaluated in the analysis were overall survival and progression-free survival (PFS); subgroup analyses assessed cutaneous immune-related adverse event type, cancer type, and other factors.


  • The occurrence of cutaneous immune-related adverse events was associated with improved PFS (hazard ratio, 0.52; P < .001) and overall survival (HR, 0.61; P < .001).
  • In the subgroup analysis, patients with eczematous (HR, 0.69), lichenoid or lichen planus–like skin lesions (HR, 0.51), pruritus without rash (HR, 0.70), psoriasis (HR, 0.63), or vitiligo (HR, 0.30) demonstrated a significant overall survival advantage. Vitiligo was the only adverse event associated with a PFS advantage (HR, 0.28).
  • Among patients with melanoma, analyses revealed a significant association between the incidence of cutaneous immune-related adverse events and improved overall survival (HR, 0.51) and PFS (HR, 0.45). The authors highlighted similar findings among patients with non–small cell lung cancer (HR, 0.50 for overall survival and 0.61 for PFS).


“These data suggest that [cutaneous immune-related adverse events] may have useful prognostic value in ICI treatment,” the authors concluded.


The analysis, led by Fei Wang, MD, Zhong Da Hospital, School of Medicine, Southeast University, Nanjing, China, was published online in JAMA Dermatology.


Most of the data came from retrospective studies, and there were limited data on specific patient subgroups. The Egger tests, used to assess potential publication bias in meta-analyses, revealed publication bias.


No disclosures were reported. The study was supported by a grant from the Postgraduate Research and Practice Innovation Program of Jiangsu Province.

A version of this article first appeared on

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