Affordable Access

Publisher Website

Dacarbazine and interferon α with or without interleukin 2 in metastatic melanoma: a randomized phase III multicentre trial of the Dermatologic Cooperative Oncology Group (DeCOG)

British Journal of Cancer
Nature Publishing Group
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1054/bjoc.2001.1731
  • Regular Article
  • Chemistry
  • Design
  • Medicine


In several phase II-trials encouraging tumour responses rates in advanced metastatic melanoma (stage IV; AJCC-classification) have been reported for the application of biochemotherapy containing interleukin 2. This study was designed to compare the efficacy of therapy with dacarbazine (DTIC) and interferon α (IFN-α) only to that of therapy with DTIC and IFN-α with the addition of interleukin 2 (IL-2) in terms of the overall survival time and rate of objective remissions and to provide an elaborated toxicity profile for both types of therapy. 290 patients were randomized to receive either DTIC (850 mg/m2every 28 days) plus IFN-α2a/b (3 MIU/m2, twice on day 1, once daily from days 2 to 5; 5 MIU/m23 times a week from week 2 to 4) with or without IL-2 (4.5 MIU/m2for 3 hours i.v. on day 3; 9.0 MIU/m2i.v. day 3/4; 4.5 MIU/m2s.c. days 4 to 7). The treatment plan required at least 2 treatment cycles (8 weeks of therapy) for every patient. Of 290 randomized patients 281 were eligible for an intention-to-treat analysis. There was no difference in terms of survival time from treatment onset between the two arms (median 11.0 months each). In 273 patients treated according to protocol tumour response was assessable. The response rates did not differ between both arms (P = 0.87) with 18.0% objective responses (9.7% PR; 8.3% CR) for DTIC plus IFN-α as compared to 16.1% (8.8% PR; 7.3% CR) for DTIC, IFN-α and IL-2. Treatment cessation due to adverse reactions was significantly more common in patients receiving IL-2 (13.9%) than in patients receiving DTIC/IFN-α only (5.6%). In conclusion, there was neither a difference in survival time nor in tumour response rates when IL-2, applied according to the combined intravenous and subcutaneous schedule used for this study, was added to DTIC and IFN-α. However, toxicity was increased in melanoma patients treated with IL-2. Further phase III trials with continuous infusion and higher dosages must be performed before any final conclusions can be drawn on the potential usefulness of IL-2 in biochemotherapy of advanced melanoma. © 2001 Cancer Research Campaign

There are no comments yet on this publication. Be the first to share your thoughts.