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Arch Surg. 2004 Nov;139(11):1237-42.

Isolated limb perfusion for unresectable melanoma of the extremities.

Author information

1
Department of Surgery, The Netherlands Cancer Institute and Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Hospital, Amsterdam. em_noorda@yahoo.com

Abstract

HYPOTHESIS:

In patients with truly unresectable melanoma of the extremities, results after isolated limb perfusion (ILP) are absent in the literature. Complete response rates are probably lower than the reported 54% for locoregional recurrent melanoma. In these patients, ILP with melphalan and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) could be superior to ILP with melphalan alone.

DESIGN:

Retrospective analysis with a median follow-up period of 21 months (interquartile range, 9-40 months).

SETTING:

Two tertiary care cancer centers in the Netherlands.

PATIENTS:

We assessed all 130 consecutive patients who underwent ILP for unresectable melanoma of the extremities, performed between 1978 and 2001. Of these patients, 38% had stage IIIA melanoma and 45% had stage IIIAB melanoma according to criteria of the MD Anderson Cancer Center. Lesions were considered unresectable on the basis of their size, number, or localization.

INTERVENTIONS:

Forty ILPs were performed with melphalan, and 90 were done with TNF-alpha and melphalan.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Response rate, disease-free survival, limb salvage rate, and overall survival.

RESULTS:

In 45% of the patients, a complete response was attained after ILP with melphalan (95% confidence interval, 29%-61%) compared with 59% after ILP with TNF-alpha and melphalan (95% confidence interval, 49%-69%; P = .14). The time to complete response was 3 months (interquartile range, 2-6 months) vs 2 months (interquartile range, 1-3 months; P = .01), respectively. The recurrence rate and median limb recurrence-free survival were not significantly different for both ILP types. The overall limb salvage rate was 96%. Overall 5-year survival was 29% (95% confidence interval, 20%-38%). The ILP type was not an independent prognostic factor for complete response, nor was limb recurrence-free survival, whereas stage IIIA was a favorable prognostic factor (P = .01 and P = .02, respectively). Favorable prognostic factors for improved survival were complete response (P<.001) and a tumor size of 3 cm or less (P = .01).

CONCLUSIONS:

In more than half of the patients with truly unresectable melanoma of the extremities, a complete response was obtained after ILP with melphalan with or without TNF-alpha. The ILP type was not an independent prognostic factor for complete response, limb recurrence-free survival, or overall survival.

PMID:
15545572
DOI:
10.1001/archsurg.139.11.1237
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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