Current Oncology Reports

, 20:91 | Cite as

Pseudoprogression of Melanoma Brain Metastases

  • Jillian L. Simard
  • Melanie Smith
  • Sunandana ChandraEmail author
Palliative Medicine (A Jatoi, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Palliative Medicine


Purpose of Review

Immune checkpoint inhibitors are increasingly being used to treat melanoma brain metastases. One potential complication of immune checkpoint inhibitors is a phenomenon called pseudoprogression, in which a tumor transiently increases in size due to lymphocyte infiltration. This article reviews the characteristics of pseudoprogression and their clinical implications.

Recent Findings

Pseudoprogression can be challenging to differentiate from true progression noted clinically or radiographically, thereby complicating management decisions and potentially confusing patients and their families. The transient tumor enlargement can also cause symptoms that mimic true tumor progression.


Because the use of immunotherapy on melanoma brain metastases is a relatively new treatment paradigm, there is limited evidence to guide clinical decision-making and prognostication related to pseudoprogression.


Melanoma Brain metastasis Pseudoprogression Immunotherapy 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Jillian L. Simard has two patents issued - #8940724, Quinoline derivatives and their uses, and #8765940, Heterocyclic compounds and their uses. Both are licensed to Amgen, but Dr. Simard has no current financial interest in Amgen.

Melanie Smith declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Sunandana Chandra has received consulting fees from Bristol-Myers Squibb, EMD Serono, Biodesix, Sanofi Genzyme, and Regeneron.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major Importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jillian L. Simard
    • 1
  • Melanie Smith
    • 2
  • Sunandana Chandra
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.ChicagoUSA
  2. 2.ChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Northwestern University Feinberg School of MedicineChicagoUSA

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