Malignant melanoma: Current state of primary and adjuvant treatment

Timothy M. Pawlik, Vernon K. Sondak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Metastatic malignant melanoma remains a highly lethal disease with an incidence that continues to rise. Management of melanoma includes definitive local, regional and distant control. There is substantial prospective and retrospective data to base the extent of both primary as well as adjuvant therapy. The results of these trials have on occasion been at odds. A critical assessment of the available information pertaining to the adjuvant treatment of cutaneous melanoma is needed. This review provides a critical assessment of the current data that is available to guide both primary resection as well as adjuvant therapy. To date, current trials have shown little promise with nonspecific immunostimulants and cytotoxic chemotherapy. In contrast, dose interferon-α2b has been shown to improve relapse-free survival and likely improves melanoma-specific survival as well. Based on the available data, interferon-α2b remains the adjuvant therapy of choice for high-risk patients treated outside clinical trials, and the appropriate control arm for clinical trials evaluating new or modified adjuvant regimens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-264
Number of pages20
JournalCritical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Adjuvant therapy
  • Interferon α
  • Melanoma
  • Sentinel node biopsy
  • Vaccines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


Dive into the research topics of 'Malignant melanoma: Current state of primary and adjuvant treatment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this