Shorter interferon course adequately treats melanoma

February 3, 2009

New York - Treating patients with resected high-risk melanoma with either one month or one year of adjuvant high-dose interferon alpha-2b therapy does not significantly change relapse-free or overall survival, cancerpage.com reports.

New York

- Treating patients with resected high-risk melanoma with either one month or one year of adjuvant high-dose interferon alpha-2b therapy does not significantly change relapse-free or overall survival, cancerpage.com reports.

Researchers prospectively studied 364 patients with stage IIB, IIC or III melanoma, who were randomized within 56 days of curative surgery to receive high-dose intravenous interferon alpha-2b every five to seven days for four weeks with or without a further 48 weeks of treatment, three times per week, according to a study published in the

Journal of Clinical Oncology

.

At 63 months, there was no significant difference between the two groups in relapse-free or overall survival. Median relapse-free survival was 24.1 months in the one-month group and 27.9 months in the one-year group, and median overall survival was 64.4 months and 65.3 months, respectively, according to cancerpage.com.

Patients who received one year of treatment had more grade one to grade two hepatoxicity, nausea/vomiting, alopecia and neurologic toxicity, the team reports.