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J Clin Oncol. 2005 Sep 20;23(27):6747-55.

Dacarbazine, cisplatin, and interferon-alfa-2b with or without interleukin-2 in metastatic melanoma: a randomized phase III trial (18951) of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Melanoma Group.

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  • 1Department of Medicine III, Charité, Campus Benjamin Franklin, Hindenburgdamm 30, 12200 Berlin, Germany.



Based on phase II trial results, chemoimmunotherapy combinations have become the preferred treatment for patients with metastatic melanoma in many institutions. This study was performed to determine whether interleukin-2 (IL-2) as a component of chemoimmunotherapy influences survival of patients with metastatic melanoma.


Patients with advanced metastatic melanoma were randomly assigned to receive dacarbazine 250 mg/m2 and cisplatin 30 mg/m2 on days 1 to 3 combined with interferon-alfa-2b 10 x 10(6) U/m2 subcutaneously on days 1 through 5 without (arm A) or with (arm B) a high-dose intravenous decrescendo regimen of IL-2 on days 5 through 10 (18 x 10(6) U/m2/6 hours, 18 x 10(6) U/m2/12 hours, 18 x 10(6) U/m2/24 hours, and 4.5 x 10(6) U/m2 for 3 x 24 hours). Treatment cycles were repeated in the absence of disease progression every 28 days to a maximum of four cycles.


Three hundred sixty-three patients with advanced metastatic melanoma were accrued. The median survival was 9 months in both arms, with a 2-year survival rate of 12.9% and 17.6% in arms A and B, respectively (P = .32; hazard ratio, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.72 to 1.11). There was also no statistically significant difference regarding progression-free survival (median, 3.0 v 3.9 months) and response rate (22.8% v 20.8%).


Despite its activity in melanoma as a single agent or in combination with interferon-alfa-2b, the chosen schedule of IL-2 added to the chemoimmunotherapy combination had no clinically relevant activity.

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