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Clin Cancer Res. 2013 Dec 1;19(23):6597-604. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-13-1414. Epub 2013 Oct 11.

ECOG phase II trial of graded-dose peginterferon α-2b in patients with metastatic melanoma overexpressing basic fibroblast growth factor (E2602).

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Authors' Affiliations: Gundersen Health System; Gundersen Medical Foundation, La Crosse, Wisconsin; Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts; University of Alabama Comprehensive Cancer Center, Birmingham, Alabama; and University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.



We investigated the use of graded-dose peginterferon α-2b (Peg-IFN) in patients with stage IV melanoma overexpressing basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2). The primary objective was suppression of plasma FGF-2 to within reference range (≤ 7.5 pg/mL).


Plasma FGF-2 was measured at baseline (step 1), and patients with concentrations of 15 pg/mL or more were eligible for study treatment (step 2). Peg-IFN was given weekly at a starting dose of 0.5 μg/kg/wk with increment every 3 weeks based on serial FGF-2 concentrations.


Two hundred seven patients entered step 1; 45 (22%) overexpressed FGF-2 (median = 22 pg/dL). Twenty-nine eligible patients entered step 2 and received treatment. Patients' median age was 64 years (range, 29-84 years). Most had more than two prior therapies. FGF-2 decreased in 28 (97%) patients, with suppression to reference range in 10 (35%). Median time to FGF-2 suppression was 30 days. The best clinical responses were partial response (7%) and stable disease (17%). Median progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were 2.0 and 9.7 months, respectively. Patients who achieved FGF-2 suppression were more likely than those who did not to have a response or stable disease (P = 0.03). VEGF concentrations decreased in 27 patients (93%) during treatment and paralleled those of FGF-2 over time. We found no compensatory increase in VEGF among those with FGF-2 suppression.


Graded-dose Peg-IFN suppresses FGF-2 in patients with metastatic melanoma who overexpress FGF-2. Over one third of patients had complete suppression of plasma FGF-2, which correlated with clinical response to this therapy.

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