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Melanoma treatment details. Chemotherapy. Immunotherapy. Umea University Hospital, Umea, Sweden

Survival: 8.9 months
Toxicity Grade: 4
Treatments: Chemotherapy
Country: Sweden
City/State/Province: Umea
Hospital: Umea University Hospital
Journal: Link
Date: 8/2007

Patients: This phase III study involved 241 patients with stage IV melanoma. They were divided into two treatment groups. The median age of patients was 52 years in one group and 53 in the other. In both groups, the majority of patients were male (62% and 63%).

Treatment: Patients were either given the chemotherapy drug dacarbazine or the immunotherapeutic agents interleukin-2, interferon-a2b, and histamine dihydrochloride.

Toxicity: Grade 4 toxicities were anemia and multi-organ failure. In the patients receiving immunotherapy, the most common side effects were nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and lethargy. In patients receiving chemotherapy the most common side effects were abdominal pain and hepatobiliary (liver and bile duct) abnormalities.

Results: The median overall survival was 8.9 months (271 days) in the patients receiving the immunotherapy and 7.6 months (231 days) in those receiving the chemotherapy. There was not a statistically significant difference in the median overall survival time between the two treatment groups.

Support: This research was supported in part by funds from EpiCept Corporation (Maxim Pharmaceuticals) and Schering-Plough. Histamine dihydrochloride is manufactured and/or marketed by Maxim Pharmaceuticals as Ceplene. Interferon a2b is manufactured and/or marketed by Schering-Plough as Intron-A.

Correspondence: Dr. Peter Naredi

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