Treatment of metastatic malignant melanoma with dacarbazine plus tamoxifen

Giorgio Cocconi, Mariangela Bella, Federico Calabresi, Maurizio Tonato, Rodolfo Canaletti, Corrado Boni, Franco Buzzi, Guido Ceci, Enrichetta Corgna, Paolo Costa, Renata Lottici, Franco Papadia, Maria Carla Sofra, Marisa Bacchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Endocrine factors may affect the clinical course of malignant melanoma and the response to the treatment of this disease. The presence of estrogen receptors in melanomas has been suggested, and occasional responses to antiestrogen therapy have been reported. Methods and Results. We randomly assigned 117 patients with metastatic malignant melanoma to treatment with dacarbazine alone or dacarbazine in combination with tamoxifen. The overall rate of response, measured objectively, was higher (28 percent vs. 12 percent, P = 0.03) and survival was longer (median, 48 vs. 29 weeks, P = 0.02) among the patients who received dacarbazine plus tamoxifen than among those who received dacarbazine alone. Among women, both the response rate (38 percent vs. 10 percent, P = 0.04) and the median survival (69 vs. 30 weeks, P = 0.008) were better with dacarbazine plus tamoxifen than with dacarbazine alone, whereas among men the differences were smaller and not statistically significant. Among the patients given dacarbazine alone, there were no significant differences between women and men in response rate (10 percent vs. 13 percent) or survival (30 vs. 27 weeks), whereas among those given dacarbazine plus tamoxifen, women had better outcomes, as indicated by both response rate (38 percent vs. 19 percent, P = 0.15) and survival (69 vs. 31 weeks, P = 0.02). When we analyzed the Quetelet body-mass index (the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters) as an indirect indicator of the levels of endogenous estrogens in postmenopausal women and in men, survival was not affected by the body-mass index in the group given dacarbazine alone, whereas in the group given dacarbazine plus tamoxifen, survival was longer among patients whose Quetelet index was above the median value than among those with a Quetelet index lower than the median value (60 vs. 26 weeks, P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)516-523
Number of pages8
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 20 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Treatment of metastatic malignant melanoma with dacarbazine plus tamoxifen'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this