Purpose: Some phase II studies have suggested that the combination of interferons (IFNs) with dacarbazine (DTIC) in the treatment of malignant melanoma (MM) increases the antitumor activity of DTIC alone. In an attempt to confirm this hypothesis, a randomized study was performed with the further intent of observing whether low doses of recombinant interferon alfa-2a (rIFNα2a) could be as effective as intermediate doses. Patients and Methods: Two hundred sixty-six patients were randomized onto three different treatment arms: DTIC 800 mg/m 2 intravenously (IV) days 1 and 21; DTIC plus rIFNα2a 9 mIU intramuscularly (IM) daily; and DTIC plus rIFNα2a 3 mIU IM three times per week. Major prognostic factors were well balanced among the three arms. Chemotherapy was administered for a maximum of eight cycles. After 6 months of therapy, rIFNα2a was continued until disease progression at 3 mIU three times per week in responding patients who had received the combined treatment. Results: The percentage of objective responses did not differ among the three groups (20%, 28%, and 23%, respectively), although a significant prolongation of response duration was observed when rIFNα2a was added to DTIC (2.6 v 8.4 v 5.5 months, respectively). However, this improvement in response duration did not translate into an amelioration of overall survival. The addition of rIFNα2a led to the onset of flu-like syndrome, but in no case was it necessary to withdraw the treatment program and no toxic deaths or life-threatening toxicities were reported. Conclusion: In this study, rIFNα2a significantly prolonged response duration, whereas no effects on response rate and survival were observed; rIFNα2a 3 mIU appeared to be equally effective and better tolerated than 9 mIU.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of Clinical Oncology|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 1994|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research