Psychological Changes in Melanoma Patients During Ipilimumab Treatment Compared to Low-Dose Interferon Alpha Therapy—A Follow-Up Study of First Experiences

Péter Kovács, Gitta Pánczél, Kinga Borbola, Gabriella Juhász, Gabriella Liszkay

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

5 Citations (Scopus)


Immuntherapies are frequently accompanied by psychological side effects. Our goals were to detect the changes of psychological factors (depression, anxiety) among melanoma patients during ipilimumab treatment. Ten ipilimumab treated melanoma patients (Group 1.) and 18 low-dose interferon-alpha treated patients (Group 2.) were compared. In our longitudinal study we measured depression (Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale) and anxiety (State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, STAI). Psychological status was tested four times: in every 3 week during ipilimumab treatment according to the relevant treatment protocol and at baseline, 1st, 3rd and 6th month of interferon therapy. No significant differences were detected at different timepoints in the level of depression or in the anxiety scale in Group 1. However significant increase of depression was found in Group 2 during the 6 months of the study. Increased levels of anxiety were found in the second timepoint in both treatment groups. This increase was only temporary and the level of anxiety returned to the baseline. In our sample no measurable psychological differences were detectable during the 12 weeks treatment period of ipilimumab. Ipilimumab seems to have fewer psychological side-effects compared to other immune therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)939-944
Number of pages6
JournalPathology and Oncology Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2014



  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Interferon
  • Ipilimumab
  • Malignant melanoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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