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Infusing chemotherapy into the liver gives extra months of disease-free life in melanoma patients
Date:9/23/2011

s decided by the patient's treatment team and could involve interleukin 2, ipilimumab, transcatheter arterial chemoembolisation (TACE), systemic chemotherapy or inclusion in a clinical trial.

As the study was not designed to show an overall survival benefit, and most of the patients had no other treatment options available to them, patients were allowed to cross over from the BAC arm of the study to the PHP arm once the benefits of PHP became apparent.

PHP patients had an overall progression-free survival time of 6.1 months versus 1.6 months in the BAC group. Overall survival at one year was 29% on PHP versus 26% on BAC. Due to the fact that 51% of patients crossed over from the BAC arm to the PHP arm, overall survival was not significantly different between the two groups: 11.4 months on PHP versus 9.9 months on BAC. However, those patients who did cross over seemed to do well despite being amongst the sickest, surviving for 9.2 months without the disease progressing in the liver, and 6.5 months without any overall progression of the disease.

Prof Pingpank will say: "This is the first phase III study of PHP in patients with liver-dominant metastatic melanoma and shows that PHP with melphalan significantly improves overall response rates and progression-free survival, providing a new treatment option for the disease. This report includes all data on patients who are more than one year on from inclusion in the trial and we now have all the final response rates. The only thing that may change over time is the examination of the possible long-term benefits, as all but one of the surviving patients were treated with PHP or crossed over to receive it."

For a disease that currently has few treatment options and no chance of a cure, Prof Pingpank says PHP offers patients extra months of, usually, good quality life. Although the adverse effects of PHP were more severe than BAC, they were short-lived. "Side effects were predominantly neut
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Contact: Emma Mason
wordmason@mac.com
ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation
Source:Eurekalert

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