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Melanoma Res. 1995 Oct;5(5):365-9.

Dacarbazine, cisplatin and carmustine, with or without tamoxifen, for metastatic melanoma: 5-year follow-up.

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Pigmented Lesion Clinic, Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Lebanon, NH, USA.


Metastatic melanoma has a grim prognosis. Response rates and survival of patients treated with combination chemotherapy are not superior to single-agent chemotherapy. This study seeks to evaluate the objective response rate and survival of patients with metastatic melanoma treated with multiagent chemotherapy, with or without tamoxifen. Forty-two patients with metastatic melanoma were treated from March 1982 to February 1988 with dacarbazine, cisplatin and carmustine, with or without tamoxifen. An overall objective response rate of 43% was seen (complete response rate 17%; partial response rate, 26%). The response rate was 54% for patients treated with tamoxifen and 25% for patients treated without tamoxifen, but the results did not achieve statistical significance. Median overall survival was 412 days, and was significantly longer in the tamoxifen-treated group. Combination chemotherapy as described in this study is well-tolerated. The observation that tamoxifen appears to impact on survival should be interpreted with great caution due to the deficiencies in the design of the trial and small patient numbers. A randomized trial of this regimen vs single-agent chemotherapy is indicated and is currently being conducted.

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