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Radiol Oncol. 2016 Feb 16;50(1):21-7. doi: 10.1515/raon-2015-0048. eCollection 2016 Mar 1.

Effectiveness of electrochemotherapy after IFN-α adjuvant therapy of melanoma patients.

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Department of Surgical Oncology, Institute of Oncology Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Department of Experimental Oncology, Institute of Oncology Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia.



The combination of electrochemotherapy with immuno-modulatory treatments has already been explored and proven effective. However, the role of interferon alpha (IFN-α) adjuvant therapy of melanoma patients and implication on electrochemotherapy effectiveness has not been explored yet. Therefore, the aim of the study was to retrospectively evaluate the effectiveness and safety of electrochemotherapy after the previous adjuvant treatment with IFN-α in melanoma patients.


The study was a retrospective single-center observational analysis of the patients with advanced melanoma, treated with electrochemotherapy after previous IFN-α adjuvant therapy. Five patients, treated between January 2008 and December 2014, were included into the study, regardless of the time point of IFN-α adjuvant therapy.


Electrochemotherapy of recurrent melanoma after the IFN-α adjuvant therapy proved to be a safe and effective treatment. Patients with one or two metastases responded completely. Among patients with multiple metastases, there was a variable response rate. In one patient all 23 metastases responded completely, in second patient more than 85% of all together 80 metastases responded completely and in third patient all 5 metastases had partial response. Taking into account all metastases from all patients together there was an 85% complete response rate.


The study showed that electrochemotherapy of recurrent melanoma after the IFN-α adjuvant therapy is a safe and effective treatment modality, which results in a high complete response rate, not only in single metastasis, but also in multiple metastases. The high complete response rate might be due to an IFN-α immune-editing effect, however, further studies with a larger number of patients are needed to support this presumption.


IFN-α; electrochemotherapy; melanoma

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