Importance: Since 2011, immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have been effective treatment options for advanced melanoma. Little is known about how risks of immune-related adverse events (irAEs) vary by ICIs. Objective: To compare the risk of irAEs across different treatment regimens for advanced melanoma using network meta-analysis. Data Sources: PubMed/MEDLINE, Embase, Web of Science, and Scopus were searched for all randomized clinical trial (RCT) articles published from January 1, 2010, through June 30, 2019. Study Selection: Studies included phases 2 and 3 RCTs in the treatment of advanced melanoma that compared ICIs (ipilimumab, nivolumab, and pembrolizumab) with chemotherapy drugs (eg, dacarbazine, carboplatin, and paclitaxel) or different ICI regimens. Data Extraction and Synthesis: Different treatment regimens were compared using Bayesian network meta-analysis with Markov chain Monte Carlo simulation with noninformative prior distribution and random-effects generalized linear models. Main Outcomes and Measures: Primary outcomes were the cumulative incidence of any irAEs (regardless of severity) and severe irAEs (grades 3-5). Based on the pooled odds ratios (ORs) and 95% credible intervals (95% CrI), the probability of being associated with the lowest irAE risks was estimated for each treatment regimen. Results: Nine RCTs with 8 different treatment regimens for advanced melanoma and involving a total of 5051 patients were included. Overall, the 3 ICI treatment regimens associated with the lowest risk of any or severe irAEs were pembrolizumab, 2 mg/kg, every 3 weeks; nivolumab, 3 mg/kg, every 2 weeks; and pembrolizumab, 10 mg/kg, every 3 weeks. Compared with ipilimumab, 10 mg/kg, every 3 weeks, only nivolumab, 3 mg/kg, every 2 weeks, was associated with a decreased risk for any irAEs (OR, 0.34; 95% CrI, 0.13-0.94). A decreased risk for severe irAEs was observed for ipilimumab, 3 mg/kg, every 3 weeks (OR, 0.35; 95% CrI, 0.14-0.74); pembrolizumab, 10 mg/kg, every 2 weeks (OR, 0.22; 95% CrI, 0.05-0.95) and 10 mg/kg every 3 weeks (OR, 0.20; 95% CrI, 0.06-0.68); and nivolumab, 3 mg/kg, every 2 weeks (OR, 0.20; 95% CrI, 0.07-0.48) compared with ipilimumab, 10 mg/kg, every 3 weeks. An increased risk for severe irAEs was associated with nivolumab, 1 mg/kg, every 3 weeks combined with ipilimumab, 3 mg/kg, every 3 weeks compared with other ICI regimens (ORs ranging from 4.09 [95% CrI, 1.73-10.99] to 7.40 [95% CrI, 1.12-49.29]) except ipilimumab, 10 mg/kg, every 3 weeks. Conclusions and Relevance: These findings suggest that for patients with advanced melanoma at high risk of irAEs, pembrolizumab, 2 mg/kg, every 3 weeks, nivolumab, 3 mg/kg, every 2 weeks, and pembrolizumab, 10 mg/kg, every 3 weeks may be the preferred treatment regimens (with respect to irAE risks) among the ICI regimens reported, whereas ipilimumab, 10 mg/kg, every 3 weeks alone and nivolumab, 1 mg/kg, every 3 weeks combined with ipilimumab, 3 mg/kg, every 3 weeks should be used with caution. A network analysis may be valuable for clinical decision-making when evidence from head-to-head comparisons is lacking.
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