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Recombinant Interferons in the Management of Advanced Malignant Melanoma Updated Review of Five Prospective Clinical Trials and Long-Term Responders

Creagan, E. T., M.D.; Schaid, D. J., Ph.D.; Ahmann, D. L., M.D.,and; Frytak, S., M.D.

American Journal of Clinical Oncology: December 1988 - Volume 11 - Issue 6 - p 652–659
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One hundred forty-five patients with disseminated malignant melanoma have participated in five Phase II clinical trials utilizing leukocyte A recombinant interferon (IFN-α2A) (96 patients), recombinant interferon gamma (rIFN-γ) (29), or IFN-α2A concomitant with rIFN-γ (20 patients). The overall response rate was 17%, with most regressions occurring with the IFN-α2A regimens. The median times to progression (1 month) and survival (6 months) were generally similar to those from chemotherapeutic agents. However, a limited cohort of patients had complete regressions or durable partial responses even after treatment was discontinued or maintained at ≤25% of the starting dosage. Most objective regressions were partial, occurred in nonvisceral sites, and were detected within 2 months of the beginning of therapy. The most noteworthy sequelae from these regimens were predominantly constitutional, but without any obvious long-term complications. These interferon programs can be conveniently self-administered on an outpatient basis. Although single-agent interferon regimens for advanced malignant melanoma will probably not offer a substantive therapeutic advance, combinations of these molecules with other biological agents (tumor necrosis factor), biochemical modulators (difluoromethylornithine), and cytotoxic agents (bischloro-ethylnitrosourea, BCNU) offer innovative therapeutic dimensions in the design of future clinical investigations.

From the Division of Medical Oncology and Cancer Center Statistics, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.