Analysis of factors influencing outcome in patients with in-transit malignant melanoma undergoing isolated limb perfusion using modern treatment parameters

H. Richard Alexander, Douglas L. Fraker, David L. Bartlett, Steven K. Libutti, Seth M. Steinberg, Perry Soriano, Tatiana Beresnev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Scopus citations


Purpose: In-transit disease afflicts approximately 10% of patients with extremity melanoma; no single treatment approach has been uniformly accepted as the most effective. We report long-term outcomes in patients with in-transit extremity melanoma who underwent isolated limb perfusion (ILP) in an era of increasingly accurate staging, uniform operative and treatment conditions, and regular long-term follow-up. Patients and Methods: Between May 1992 and February 2005, 91 patients (median age, 57 years; 50 women, 41 men) underwent a 90-minute hyperthermic ILP (melphalan, 10 to 13 mg/L limb volume, tumor necrosis factor [TNF; n = 44], or interferon [n = 38]) using uniform operative technique and intraoperative leak monitoring. Patients were prospectively followed for response, in-field progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS). Parameters associated with in-field PFS and OS were analyzed by standard statistical methods. Results: There was one operative death (1.1%). There were 62 complete responses (69%) and 23 partial responses (26%) in 90 assessable patients. At a median potential follow-up of 11 years, median in-field PFS was 12.4 months and median OS was 47.4 months; 5 and 10-year actuarial OS probabilities were 43% and 34%, respectively. Female sex and low tumor burden (≤ 20 lesions) were associated with prolonged in-field PFS (male:female hazard ratio [HR], 2.07; 95% CI, 1.27 to 3.38; 21+ v ≤ 20 tumors HR, 2.29; 95% CI, 1.21 to 4.34; P < .011 for both). Female sex was associated with improved OS (P = .027; male:female HR, 1.82; 95% CI, 1.07 to 3.09). Conclusion: In appropriately selected patients, ILP has clinical benefit. The use of TNF was not associated with improved in-field PFS, while female sex was associated with better survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114-118
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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