Recent reports in the literature suggest that hyperthermic isolated limb perfusion (HILP) may be effective in preventing local recurrence in patients with deeply invasive melanoma or in patients with recurrent disease confined to the extremity. It has been used in the past as an adjuvant treatment after resection of the primary melanoma or recurrence, or as a therapeutic measure if all the disease on the extremity cannot be resected. A prospective, nonrandomized trial of 16 patients with melanoma with recurrent disease confined to the extremity underwent HILP. The protocol involved the wide local excision of all recurrent disease when possible, elective or therapeutic node dissection when indicated, and HILP using cisplatin. In 11 patients in whom all recurrent disease could be resected and the HILP was considered prophylactic, only 1 patient's disease has recurred in the perfusion circuit. Before the perfusion, the 11 patients had a total of 19 local or intransit recurrences. Of the 5 patients in whom all recurrent disease could not be resected, disease persisted in 4 patients. When compared with a concurrent control population of patients with extremity melanoma who had a local recurrence and were not perfused, the patients with melanoma who underwent HILP had a significant prolongation of disease-free survival (p < 0.05), but a similar actuarial survival. In this study, we demonstrate that HILP can prevent local regional recurrences in patients with metastatic melanoma who are at high risk for further recurrence. This treatment eliminates the need for amputations and toxic systemic chemotherapy in attempts to control localized recurrent disease, and has the potential to assume a significant role in this subgroup of patients with metastatic melanoma.
© Williams & Wilkins 1992. All Rights Reserved.