Cardiotoxicity of Systemic Melanoma Treatments

Neha Makunda, Srilakshmi Vallabhaneni, Benedicte Lefebvre, Michael G. Fradley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Melanoma is the least common but most dangerous skin cancer, accounting for 75% of all deaths from a primary cutaneous malignancy, with incidence rates rising significantly over the last decade. Traditional treatments for melanoma including interferon and cytotoxic chemotherapy had marginal efficacy. With the advent of targeted and immunotherapies, the prognosis for patients with advanced melanoma has significantly improved including those with metastatic disease to the heart. BRAF and MEK inhibitors as well as immune checkpoint inhibitors have become front line therapy for eligible patients with metastatic melanoma and have led to long-term durable response and in some cases can be curative. Despite these oncologic advances, various treatment-limiting side effects can occur. In particular, cardiovascular toxicities can contribute to overall morbidity and mortality in these patients. Toxicities range from asymptomatic QT prolongation and mild LV dysfunction to fulminant myocarditis and potentially life-threatening arrhythmias. A multidisciplinary approach to the care of these patients which includes cardio-oncology evaluation is necessary to develop both risk mitigation and treatment strategies to ensure patients continue receiving necessary and effective melanoma treatments while minimizing long-term adverse cardiovascular effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)240-253
Number of pages14
JournalCurrent treatment options in oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • BRAF
  • Cardio-oncology
  • Cardiotoxicity
  • Immunotherapy
  • MEK
  • Melanoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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