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J Clin Oncol. 2002 Jun 1;20(11):2610-5.

Temozolomide plus thalidomide in patients with advanced melanoma: results of a dose-finding trial.

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  • 1Departments of Medicine, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, and Radiology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY 10021, USA.

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  • J Clin Oncol 2002 Aug 1;20(15):3361.



To establish a safe and tolerated regimen of an oral cytotoxic agent, temozolomide, and a cytostatic agent, thalidomide, in patients with unresectable stage III or IV malignant melanoma.


Patients with unresectable stage III or IV melanoma without brain metastases were entered successively onto four treatment cohorts: level 1, temozolomide 50 mg/m(2)/d for 6 weeks followed by a 4-week break; levels 2, 3, and 4, temozolomide 75 mg/m(2)/d for 6 weeks followed, respectively, by breaks of 4, 3, and 2 weeks. Thalidomide was started at 200 mg/d, and escalated to a maximum dose of 400 mg/d. Safety was assessed at weeks 2 and 4 and every 4 weeks thereafter; tumor response was evaluated every 8 to 10 weeks.


Twelve patients were enrolled, three on each cohort. Therapy was generally well tolerated on all of the treatment schedules. Thalidomide at a dose of 400 mg/d was well tolerated in patients younger than 70, and 200 mg/d was well tolerated in older patients. The most common adverse events were grade 2 or 3 constipation and neuropathy, which were attributed to thalidomide. Five major responses (one complete, four partial) were documented, all at dose levels 2 to 4. Three of the five responding patients were in the over-70 age group. The median duration of response was 6 months (range, 4 to 17+ months), and the median overall survival was 12.3 months (range, 4 to 19+ months).


The combination of temozolomide and thalidomide was well tolerated and had antitumor activity in patients with advanced melanoma, including elderly patients over 70 years old.

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