Background: Nivolumab, an anti–programmed cell death 1 immuno-oncology therapy, is approved as an adjuvant treatment for patients with completely resected stage III or stage IV melanoma. PRESERV MEL (Prospective and REtrospective Study of nivolumab thERapy in adjuVant MELanoma) is a real-world observational study evaluating the effectiveness and safety of adjuvant nivolumab in patients with completely resected stage III or stage IV melanoma in clinical practice in Belgium and Luxembourg. Methods: Patients were enrolled prospectively and retrospectively during a 2-year period (January 2019–January 2021), and will be followed for 5 years. The results reported here are for the second interim analysis (cutoff date 31 December 2021). The index date was the date of first administration of adjuvant nivolumab. Patients received nivolumab for up to 12 months per label. Outcomes included relapse-free survival (RFS), adverse events (AEs)/treatment-related AEs (TRAEs), and health-related quality of life (HRQoL; assessed in prospectively enrolled patients using the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire C30 (EORTC QLQ-C30), Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy—Melanoma (FACT-M), and EQ-5D-3L instruments). HRQoL was evaluated at group level (mean change in scores from baseline based on minimally important differences) and individual patient level (percentage of patients with clinically important scores based on threshold of clinical importance). Outcomes were analyzed descriptively. Results: The study enrolled 152 patients (125 prospective, 27 retrospective) at 15 hospitals in Belgium and Luxembourg. Minimum potential follow-up at time of analysis was 11.4 months. Median age was 60 years (range 29–85), and 53% of patients were male. At 12 and 18 months, the RFS rates were 74.7% (95% confidence interval (CI): 66.9–80.9) and 68.4% (95% CI: 60.0–75.5), respectively. Median RFS was not reached. Grade 3 or 4 TRAEs were reported in 14% of patients. AEs led to treatment discontinuation in 23% of patients. Deaths occurred in 3% of patients and were not related to treatment. Questionnaire completion rates for HRQoL were high at baseline (90–94%) and at 24 months (78–81%). In the group-level analysis for HRQoL, mean changes in scores from baseline remained stable and did not exceed prespecified thresholds for minimally important differences during and after treatment, except for a clinically meaningful improvement in FACT-M surgery subscale scores. In the individual patient-level analysis for EORTC QLQ-C30 subscales, the percentages of patients who reported clinically relevant scores for fatigue and cognitive impairment increased during treatment (at 9 months) compared with baseline. After treatment cessation (at 18 months), the percentage of patients who reported clinically relevant scores for fatigue decreased. However, the percentages of patients who reported clinically relevant scores for emotional, cognitive, and social impairment increased at 18 months compared with during treatment. Most patients with emotional impairment at 9 and 18 months did not experience disease recurrence (91% and 89%, respectively). Conclusions: These results confirm the real-world effectiveness and safety of nivolumab as an adjuvant treatment for patients with completely resected stage III or stage IV melanoma. Cancer-specific, disease-specific, and generic HRQoL were maintained during and after treatment. The percentage of patients reporting emotional and cognitive impairment increased after treatment cessation, emphasizing the need for further investigation and tailored supportive care in these patients.
- adjuvant treatment
- health-related quality of life