Isolation limb perfusion (ILP) is the treatment of choice for locally advanced limb melanoma. With melphalan, the referral drug, complete response (CR) is achieved in about 50% of patients, but significant local toxicity occurs in up to 30%. The aim of the present phase I-II study was to challenge fotemustine (F) in ILP after systemic chemosensitization with dacarbazine (DTIC), given its lower toxicity and greater efficacy, as reported in a previous pilot study. Eleven patients with locally advanced limb melanoma were subdivided into triplets, and given F ILP at escalating doses (starting from 25 mg/l) after intravenous administration of 500 mg/m2 DTIC. Acute and chronic locoregional and systemic toxicity, tumour response and clinical outcome were evaluated. Two patients in the first triplet had G3-G4 local toxicity, so that the scheduled F dosage was halved. At drug levels of 12.5, 15.6 and 18.2 mg/l, local toxicity decreased, but only one of eight patients showed CR. The trial was then interrupted due to the low tolerability and poor efficacy of this perfusion regimen. At present, F ILP after DTIC chemosensitization should not be recommended for the treatment of locally advanced limb melanoma.