Kinetics of melphalan leakage during hyperthermic isolation perfusion in melanoma of the limb

H. F. Rauschecker, H. Foth, H. C. Michaelis, F. Horst, W. Gatzemeier, C. Willenbrock, E. Voth, G. F. Kahl

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The kinetics of melphalan leakage into the peripheral blood were studied in 21 patients undergoing hyperthermic isolation perfusion of the upper or lower limb as an adjuvant treatment in high-risk melanoma; in 5 patients cisplatin was added. The melphalan concentrations in the peripheral blood rose predominantly during the first 20 min of perfusion and levelled out to an apparent steady state of about 0.28 μg/ml in upper extremity perfusions, and 0.34 (without cisplatin) and 0.37 μg/ml (with cisplatin) in lower extremity perfusions. Erythrocytes labelled with technetium Tc 99m, which were added concomitantly with melphalan to the perfusion medium, appeared in the systemic circulation of the patients at an almost constant rate of 0.32% (lower and upper limb perfusions without cisplatin and 0.37% (with cisplatin) of total tracer/min. This perfusate flow rate indicated by labelled erythrocytes completely explained the leakage of melphalan from the perfusion circuit into the peripheral blood. Peak concentrations of melphalan in the peripheral blood were observed immediately after reconstitution of normal hemodynamic conditions once isolation perfusion had been teminated. This fraction of melphalan might originate from tissue-binding sites, but also from vascular compartments; therefore, a thorough washing-out procedure might minimize this effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-384
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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