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Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet]. York (UK): Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (UK); 1995-.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE): Quality-assessed Reviews [Internet].

Interferon alpha as adjuvant postsurgical treatment of melanoma: a meta-analysis

Review published: 2004.

Bibliographic details: Pirard D, Heenen M, Melot C, Vereecken P.  Interferon alpha as adjuvant postsurgical treatment of melanoma: a meta-analysis. Dermatology 2004; 208(1): 43-48. [PubMed: 14730236]

Quality assessment

This review assessed the effectiveness of interferon-alpha as a postsurgical treatment for melanoma. The authors concluded that treatment reduces the relapse rate but does not improve overall patient survival. The review had several methodological weaknesses and it is unclear whether the quality of the included studies, and the synthesis of them, can be relied upon. Full critical summary


BACKGROUND: The literature on the benefit of alpha-interferon (IFN-alpha) as adjuvant postsurgical treatment of melanoma reports discordant results.

OBJECTIVE: With the published data so far, we performed a meta-analysis in order to evaluate the effect of IFN-alpha on the relapse rate (RR) and the overall survival (OS).

METHODS: Published randomised trials were identified by Medline search. Stage IV melanoma was not considered.

RESULTS: Nine published studies were included, with a total of 2,880 patients. Both the per protocol and the intention-to-treat analysis show that IFN-alpha significantly decreased the RR (OR = 0.74; 95% CI = 0.64-0.86). Subgroup analyses show that, for all stages, high and low doses decreased the RR (OR = 0.71, 95% CI = 0.54-0.92, and OR = 0.76, 95% CI = 0.63-0.91, respectively). No difference has been evidenced on OS.

CONCLUSIONS: High and low doses of IFN-alpha significantly decrease the RR, but the OS does not seem to be improved.

Copyright 2004 S. Karger AG, Basel

CRD has determined that this article meets the DARE scientific quality criteria for a systematic review.

Copyright © 2013 University of York.

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