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Tumori. 1979 Apr 30;65(2):229-36.

A preliminary report of a pilot trial in adjuvant chemotherapy of primary melanoma.


It is well known that level of skin invasion and tumor thickness are significant prognostic factors in the evolution of primary melanoma. The prognosis of primary melanoma Clark III to V skin invasion level and more than 1.5 mm thick confirms this statement. Even the prophylactic dissection of regional lymph nodes has not improved results. In an attempt to obtain better results in the treatment of primary melanomas, a pilot trial was carried out combining surgery and adjuvant chemotherapy. A group of 21 patients with Clark III, IV and V level primary melanoma who underwent adjuvant polychemotherapy (velba + dactinomycin + procarbazine) for 1 year after surgery showed a very low incidence of recurrences (5%) after 24 months of observation. The historical control group, with the same level of tumor skin invasion, treated only surgically had in the same follow-up period a recurrence rate of 65%. This difference was statistically significant (p less than 0.01). All patients who received adjuvant chemotherapy survived 2 years whereas survival was 77% (p less than 0.05) in the surgical historical control group. Favorable results with the same protocol of adjuvant chemotherapy were not obtained in the group of 16 patients with stage II melanoma when compared with primary tumors. However, 4 recurrences were observed after 12 months of observation; toxic side effects of adjuvant chemotherapy were mild and tolerable. Considering the insufficient number of clinical trials with adjuvant chemotherapy, as well as sometimes controversial results, further randomized clinical studies are needed to establish the actual value of this conbined method in the treatment of primary melanoma with a high risk of dissemination.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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