Treatment of recurrent cutaneous melanoma nodules with BCG is an effective and relatively nonmorbid method for eliminating these tumor nodules. Injected nodules can be made to disappear about 90 percent of the time and in about 20 percent of patients non injected nodules in the same drainage area may also regress. Subcutaneous melanoma nodules are far more resistant to melanoma injection. Although cutaneous nodules can be made to regress there is no evidence that a systemic effect against disseminated melanoma exists and no responses of distant visceral disease have been seen following intralesional therapy of cutaneous nodules. The regression of cutaneous nodules following BCG injection appears to be an immunologic phenomenon and is related to the immunocompetence of the patient. The molecular mechanisms of this tumor regression are unknown and are the subject of intensive study. Several new approaches such as the use of BCG for the treatment of poor prognosis primary malignant melanomas, as well as the use of nonviable, nonbacteriologic agents for intralesional treatment are under investigation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas