Feasibility, acceptability, and utility of a nurse-led survivorship program for people with metastatic melanoma (MELCARE).

Lai-Kwon J, Kelly B, Lane S, Biviano R, Bartula I, Brennan F, Kivikoski I, Thompson J, Dhillon HM, Menzies A, Long GV. Support Care Cancer. 2022 Sep 22:1–10. doi: 10.1007/s00520-022-07360-4. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36136246; PMCID: PMC9492451.


Purpose: Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) and targeted therapy (TT) have improved the survival of people with metastatic melanoma. We assessed the feasibility, acceptability, and utility of a novel model of nurse-led, telehealth-delivered survivorship care (MELCARE) for this survivor group.

Methods: People ≥ 18 years diagnosed with unresectable stage III or stage IV melanoma who were ≥ 6 months post initiation of ICI/TT with a radiological response suggestive of a long-term response to ICI/TT were recruited from a specialist melanoma centre in Australia. All participants received MELCARE, a nurse-led survivorship program involving two telehealth consultations 3 months apart, needs assessment using the Distress Thermometer (DT) and Problem List, and creation of a survivorship care plan. Feasibility, acceptability, and utility were assessed using rates of consent and study completion, time taken to complete each component of MELCARE, the Acceptability of Intervention Measure (AIM), and a customised utility survey.

Results: 31/54 (57%) people consented. Participants were male (21, 68%), with a median age of 67 (range: 46-82). Eleven (35%) were receiving/had received ipilimumab and nivolumab and 27 (87%) had ceased treatment. Feasibility was demonstrated with 97% completing MELCARE. Utility was demonstrated on a customised survey and supported by a reduction in the mean DT score (initial: 5.6, SD: 2.9; follow-up: 1.5, SD: 1.2). Acceptability was demonstrated on 3/4 AIM items.

Conclusion: MELCARE was feasible and acceptable with high levels of utility. However, the consent rate was 57% indicating some people do not require support. Future studies should consider MELCARE’s optimal timing, resourcing, and cost-effectiveness.