Rationale and Objectives The purposes of this study were to provide a case-based overview of various immune-mediated side effects detected by 18F-Fluorodeoxyglucose (F-18 FDG) positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT) in the patients receiving ipilimumab immunotherapy for treatment of malignant melanoma, and discuss the importance of recognizing immune-mediated side effects in the use of F-18 FDG PET-CT for monitoring therapeutic effects of ipilimumab on metastatic melanoma. Materials and Methods This is a retrospective case series study of the patients diagnosed with melanoma who were subjected to immunomodulating therapy with ipilimumab. F-18 FDG PET-CT findings were reviewed, and the patients with immune-mediated side effects were selected for further analysis, in conjunction with review of clinical progress notes, the results of laboratory tests, and findings of other imaging tests. Results Four patients with immune-mediated side effects were identified among the patients being treated with ipilimumab and subjected to F-18 FDG PET-CT for monitoring therapeutic effects. These immune mediated side effects include new findings of abnormal increased FDG uptake associated with immune-mediated pancreatitis and hypophysitis, as well as immune-mediated thyroiditis and colitis reported previously. Conclusions Various immune-mediated side effects were detected by F-18 FDG PET-CT in the patients subjected to immunomodulating therapy with ipilimumab. It is essential for the interpreting provider to recognize and differentiate abnormal FDG uptake associated with immune-mediated side effects from hypermetabolic malignant lesions when using F-18 FDG PET-CT for monitoring therapeutic effects of ipilimumab on melanoma lesions.
- immune-related adverse events
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging