A survey of treatments used in patients with metastatic melanoma: Analysis of 189 patients referred to the National Cancer Institute

Christopher E. Touloukian, Steven A. Rosenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Few effective treatments exist for patients with metastatic melanoma. The United States Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of interferon alfa-2b after the resection of locoregional disease, and dacarbazine or interleukin-2 for the treatment of patients with metastatic melanoma beyond the locoregional area, although many additional agents and combinations of agents are currently in use. METHODS: Between January 1997 and June 1998, the Surgery Branch of the National Cancer Institute conducted a prospective analysis of 226 consecutive patients with metastatic melanoma referred for protocol evaluation. The previous systemic treatments these patients received both before and after the development of metastatic disease were tabulated, along with the association of these treatments with formal institutional protocols. Only the identity of the agents and not the dose or the schedule of treatments was considered in this analysis. Complete information could be obtained from 189 of the 226 patients. RESULTS: Of the 189 patients evaluated for this study, 135 (71%) received some form of systemic therapy before referral to the National Cancer Institute. Before the development of metastatic disease, 80 patients were administered 25 different systemic treatments, including 23 different agents. After the development of metastatic disease, 53 patients were administered 57 different systemic and regional treatments, including 37 different agents. After the resection of all metastatic sites, 23 patients were administered nine different systemic adjuvant treatments. Overall, 78 different systemic treatments were administered to these patients. The majority of treatments in each group were not associated with formal institutional protocols. CONCLUSIONS: This study has demonstrated that a large number of agents and different combinations of agents are currently being administered to patients before and after the development of metastatic melanoma, and frequently not within the context of an approved institutional protocol. These results indicate a need for more formal evaluation of treatments in prospective protocols and greater standardization of the treatment of patients with melanoma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-274
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Journal from Scientific American
Volume5
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1999
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

National Cancer Institute (U.S.)
Melanoma
Therapeutics
interferon alfa-2b
Surveys and Questionnaires
Dacarbazine
United States Food and Drug Administration
Interleukin-2
Appointments and Schedules
Referral and Consultation

Keywords

  • Chemotherapy
  • Clinical protocol
  • Melanoma
  • Metastatic disease
  • Systemic treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

Cite this

A survey of treatments used in patients with metastatic melanoma : Analysis of 189 patients referred to the National Cancer Institute. / Touloukian, Christopher E.; Rosenberg, Steven A.

In: Cancer Journal from Scientific American, Vol. 5, No. 5, 09.1999, p. 269-274.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "BACKGROUND: Few effective treatments exist for patients with metastatic melanoma. The United States Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of interferon alfa-2b after the resection of locoregional disease, and dacarbazine or interleukin-2 for the treatment of patients with metastatic melanoma beyond the locoregional area, although many additional agents and combinations of agents are currently in use. METHODS: Between January 1997 and June 1998, the Surgery Branch of the National Cancer Institute conducted a prospective analysis of 226 consecutive patients with metastatic melanoma referred for protocol evaluation. The previous systemic treatments these patients received both before and after the development of metastatic disease were tabulated, along with the association of these treatments with formal institutional protocols. Only the identity of the agents and not the dose or the schedule of treatments was considered in this analysis. Complete information could be obtained from 189 of the 226 patients. RESULTS: Of the 189 patients evaluated for this study, 135 (71{\%}) received some form of systemic therapy before referral to the National Cancer Institute. Before the development of metastatic disease, 80 patients were administered 25 different systemic treatments, including 23 different agents. After the development of metastatic disease, 53 patients were administered 57 different systemic and regional treatments, including 37 different agents. After the resection of all metastatic sites, 23 patients were administered nine different systemic adjuvant treatments. Overall, 78 different systemic treatments were administered to these patients. The majority of treatments in each group were not associated with formal institutional protocols. CONCLUSIONS: This study has demonstrated that a large number of agents and different combinations of agents are currently being administered to patients before and after the development of metastatic melanoma, and frequently not within the context of an approved institutional protocol. These results indicate a need for more formal evaluation of treatments in prospective protocols and greater standardization of the treatment of patients with melanoma.",
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