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Ann Surg. 1992 Oct;216(4):463-82.

Prolongation of survival in metastatic melanoma after active specific immunotherapy with a new polyvalent melanoma vaccine.

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John Wayne Cancer Institute, Santa Monica, CA 90404.

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  • Ann Surg 1993 Mar;217(3):309.


A new polyvalent melanoma cell vaccine (MCV) was administered to 136 stage IIIA and IV (American Joint Committee on Cancer) melanoma patients. Induction of cell-mediated and humoral immune responses to common melanoma-associated antigens present on autologous melanoma cells was observed in patients receiving the new MCV. This was accompanied by increased activation of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes. Survival correlated significantly with delayed cutaneous hypersensitivity (p = 0.0066) and antibody responses to MCV (p = 0.0117). Of 40 patients with evaluable disease, nine (23%) had regressions (three complete). From our historical database of 126 stage IIIA and 1275 stage IV melanoma patients, there were no significant changes in the natural history of metastatic melanoma during the past 20 years. Univariate and multivariate analyses demonstrated prognostic significance for site of metastases (p = 0.0001) and immunotherapy with the new MCV (p = 0.0001). Overall our new MCV increased the median and 5-year survival of stage IIIA melanoma patients with regional soft tissue metastases twofold (p = 0.00024), and stage IV patients threefold (p = 0.0001) compared with previous immunotherapy and other treatments.

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