High-dose Interferon Alpha in Treatment of Patients with Malignant Melanoma, Monitoring of Predictive and Prognostic Biomarkers

Authors: J. Vaňásková;  J. Grim;  J. Kopecký;  E. Kubala;  S. Filip
Authors‘ workplace: Klinika onkologie a radioterapie, LF UK a FN Hradec Králové
Published in: Klin Onkol 2011; 24(3): 180-186
Category: Reviews


The incidence of malignant melanoma is increasing by about 2–5% per year, exceeding an incidence of all other tumors. Adjuvant immunotherapy with high-dose interferon (HDI) as per the ECOG 1684 trial Kirkwood’s schema is still recommended as a standard. HDI should be started within 60 days after a surgical procedure. Meaningful adjuvant immunotherapy is based on radical surgical excision, an investigation of the sentinel node and regional lymph node dissection, if indicated. Current research aims to utilize routinely usable biomarkers in order to define patients who would explicitly profit from HDI.

The authors present a review of HDI trials, focusing on the management of adverse effects of HDI and on biomarkers. This review also discusses the initial own experiences at the Oncology Centre in Hradec Králové.

Malignant melanoma is a very immunogenic tumour. Immunotherapy with HDI is considered to be the only therapeutic modality so far that has been proven to prolong relapse-free survival and overall survival (in short-time criterion) in adjuvant setting. However, the results of these trials are inconsistent and particular biomarkers of therapeutic response have not been defined yet.

Key words:
malignant melanoma – immunotherapy – high-dose interferon – prognostic and predictive factors – serum VEGF

The authors declare they have no potential conflicts of interest concerning drugs, products, or services used in the study.

The Editorial Board declares that the manuscript met the ICMJE “uniform requirements” for biomedical papers.


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