Background: Despite high rates of complete responses (CRs) to isolated limb perfusion (ILP) for patients with in-transit melanoma (60% to 90%), extremity recurrences are common. We evaluated our experience with managing these recurrences to determine how best to treat these patients. Methods: Between April 1992 and April 1998, 72 patients experienced CRs after hyperthermic ILP using Melphalan, with (n = 46) or without (n = 26) tumor necrosis factor. Of these, 25 patients (35%) experienced initial recurrences in the extremities, and they form the basis of this study. Results: Three patients who underwent repeat ILP for treatment of their recurrences experienced a second CR and recurrence in the extremity (at 9, 15, and 16 months), allowing analysis of 28 cases. For 5 of 20 recurrences managed with excision, 2 of 6 managed with repeat ILP, and 0 of 2 managed with systemic treatment, the patient was free of disease at the last follow-up examination (median follow-up period, 11 months). Conclusions: Isolated extremity recurrences after CRs to ILP occurred in 35% of patients. Initially, these could be managed successfully by excision or repeat ILP for the majority of patients (92%). We recommend excision of small-volume recurrent disease, reserving repeat ILP for patients with increasing numbers of lesions or increasing rapidity of in-field recurrences.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Complete response
- Limb perfusion