Immune privilege: failure of immunotherapy in controlling metastatic cutaneous melanoma to the eye

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Abstract

This report concerns a 49-year-old female with cutaneous malignant melanoma and systemic metastases. These resolved following combination immunotherapy with ipilimumab and nivolumab. She subsequently experienced unilateral floaters, an increase in iris pigmentation and pigmentary glaucoma. The eye progressively lost vision and became painful due to iris neovascularization. The clinical diagnosis was of cutaneous melanoma metastatic to the vitreous, ciliary body and iris. Enucleation was performed for symptom control, with histopathology confirming the clinical diagnosis. The immune privilege of the eye may preclude ocular metastasis control with immunotherapy. Ocular symptoms in such patients merit referral to an ophthalmologist.

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