Combined chemoimmunotherapy of metastatic melanoma: A single institution experience

Vincenzo Di Lauro, Simona Scalone, Nicoletta La Mura, Martina Zanetti, Paola Nigri, Andrea Freschi, Andrea Veronesi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The addition of cytokines, such as interferon α-2b and interleukin-2, to chemotherapy in metastatic melanoma has produced conflicting results in phase II and III trials. We report our experience with a chemoimmunotherapeutic regimen using subcutaneous cytokines. Twenty-eight patients with advanced melanoma (median age, 45 years; male to female ratio, 19:9) were treated. Doses were as follows: cisplatin, 20 mg/m2 intravenously (iv) days 1-4; vinblastine, 1.6 mg/m2 iv days 1-4; dacarbazine, 800 mg/ m 2 iv day 1; interferon α-2b, 5 MIU/m2 subcutaneously (sc) days 1-5; interleukin-2, 9 MIU/m2 sc days 1-5 and 8-12. Treatment was repeated every 3 weeks for a maximum of six cycles. The response was assessed after two cycles and toxicity at every cycle, according to World Health Organization (WHO) and National Cancer Institute (NCI) criteria, respectively. At a median follow-up of 8 months, only four patients (14%) were still alive. The overall response rate was 33%, with three (11%) complete responses lasting for 17, 14 and > 24 months. There were six (22%) partial responses and three stable disease. Amongst the responders, three patients progressed at the level of the central nervous system. The median time to progression and overall survival were 3.5 and 9 months, respectively. The most common grade 3-4 toxicity was neutropenia, reported in 25 of the 28 patients (92%). Only two patients (7%) experienced neutropenic fever. Thrombocytopenia grade 3-4 occurred in seven of the 28 patients (25%), with only one patient needing transfusional support One toxic death due to neutropenic fever occurred. It can be concluded that the chemoimmunotherapy schedule evaluated is active and may be considered for patients with metastatic melanoma who have a good performance status and a limited disease burden.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-212
Number of pages4
JournalMelanoma Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005


  • Chemoimmunotherapy
  • Melanoma
  • Metastases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Dermatology


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