BACKGROUND: In recent years, the treatment of metastatic melanoma has changed dramatically due to the development of immune checkpoint and mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase inhibitors. A population-based registry, the Dutch Melanoma Treatment Registry (DMTR), was set up in July 2013 to assure the safety and quality of melanoma care in the Netherlands. This article describes the design and objectives of the DMTR and presents some results of the first 2 years of registration.
METHODS: The DMTR documents detailed information on all Dutch patients with unresectable stage IIIc or IV melanoma. This includes tumour and patient characteristics, treatment patterns, clinical outcomes, quality of life, healthcare utilisation, informal care and productivity losses. These data are used for clinical auditing, increasing the transparency of melanoma care, providing insights into real-world cost-effectiveness and creating a platform for research.
RESULTS: Within 1 year, all melanoma centres were participating in the DMTR. The quality performance indicators demonstrated that the BRAF inhibitors and ipilimumab have been safely introduced in the Netherlands with toxicity rates that were consistent with the phase III trials conducted. The median overall survival of patients treated with systemic therapy was 10.1 months (95% confidence interval [CI] 9.1-11.1) in the first registration year and 12.7 months (95% CI 11.6-13.7) in the second year.
CONCLUSION: The DMTR is the first comprehensive multipurpose nationwide registry and its collaboration with all stakeholders involved in melanoma care reflects an integrative view of cancer management. In future, the DMTR will provide insights into challenging questions regarding the definition of possible subsets of patients who benefit most from the new drugs.