Adjuvant therapy of melanoma patients (stage II, III): A pilot immuno-toxicological study

M. Tricarico, C. Nunziata, F. Atzori, F. Concolino, V. Macchini, S. D'Atri, S. P. Prete, M. Turriziani, G. Lanzilli, F. Sera, D. Abeni, V. Albanesi, E. Bonmassar, E. Pagani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A pilot study was conducted to assess the tolerability and the effect on host immunity of a post-surgery adjuvant treatment of melanoma patients with an anti-angiogenic agent, Tamoxifen (TAM, 20 mg/die p.o., daily), combined with immunomodulating cytokines, i.e. recombinant interleukin-2 (IL-2, 4 MUI/m 2 s.c., day 8,10,12) and alpha-2b-interferon (IFN, 3 MUI/m 2 i.m., day 15,17,19), starting a new cycle on day 21, for a total of 12 cycles. Fifty patients (pts) entered into the study, 27 males and 23 females with a median age of 55 years (range 25-75), performance status (ECOG) O with melanoma stage UA (12 patients), stage UB (28 patients), stage III (10 patients). Preliminary in vitro studies showed that TAM does not interfere with up-regulation of natural immunity induced by IFN, IL-2, or IFN + IL-2 in normal peripheral blood mononuclear cells (MNC). The clinical study indicates that the protocol was well tolerated. Increase of NK and LAK activity of patient MNC was observed on day 15. The mean disease-free interval was 10 months and 40 pts were alive at 5 years of follow-up. Further investigations should be performed to test effectiveness of this protocol in a randomized study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-578
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004


  • Adjuvant therapy
  • Alpha-Interferon
  • Interleukin-2
  • Melanoma
  • Tamoxifen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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