Current status and prospects of immunotherapy for gynecologic melanoma

Mayuka Anko, Yusuke Kobayashi, Kouji Banno, Daisuke Aoki

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Gynecologic melanomas are rare and have a poor prognosis. Although immunotherapy (immune checkpoint inhibitors) and targeted therapy has greatly improved the systemic treatment of cutaneous melanoma (CM) in recent years, its efficacy in gynecologic melanomas remains uncertain because of the rarity of this malignancy and its scarce literature. This review aimed to evaluate the literature of gynecologic melanomas treated with immunotherapy and targeted therapy through a PubMed search. We identified one study focusing on the overall survival of gynecologic melanomas separately and five case series and nine case reports concentrating on gynecologic melanomas treated with an immune checkpoint inhibitor and/or targeted therapy. Furthermore, the KIT mutation has the highest rate among all mutations in mucosal melanoma types. The KIT inhibitors (Tyrosine kinase inhibitors: TKIs) imatinib and nilotinib could be the treatment options. Moreover, immune checkpoint inhibitors combined with KIT inhibitors may potentially treat cases of resistance to immune checkpoint inhibitors. However, because of the different conditions and a small number of cases, it is difficult to evaluate the efficacy of immunotherapy and targeted therapy for gynecologic melanoma rigorously at this time. Further prospective cohort or randomized trials of gynecologic melanoma alone are needed to assess the treatment with solid evidence.

Original languageEnglish
Article number403
JournalJournal of Personalized Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2021 May


  • Gynecologic melanoma
  • Im-munotherapy
  • Imatinib
  • Immune checkpoint inhibitor
  • KIT
  • Melanoma
  • Mucosal melanoma
  • Targeted therapy
  • Vulvovaginal melanoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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