Isolated limb perfusion with tumour necrosis factor-α and melphalan for unresectable bone sarcomas of the lower extremity

J. Bickels, E. R. Manusama, M. Gutman, A. M.M. Eggermont, Y. Kollender, S. Abu-Abid, A. N. Van Geel, D. Lev-Shlush, J. M. Klausner, I. Meller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: isolated limb perfusion (ILP) with recombinant tumour necrosis factor-alpha (rTNF-α) and melphalan has recently been reported to induce major tumour responses and permit limb salvage in over 80% of patients with unresectable soft-tissue sarcomas of the extremities. We investigated whether TNF-based ILP could allow limb-sparing surgery in patients with primary, recurrent or metastatic bone sarcoma to the lower extremity who met the criteria for an amputation and had failed or refused chemotherapy. Methods: From August 1992 to December 1997, we employed ILP with rTNF-α and melphalan in 13 patients with unresectable bone sarcoma of the lower extremity, all of whom were candidates for amputation. The aim was to reduce tumour size and allow the performance of a limb-sparing surgery (LSS). Results: Following ILP, none of the patients had severe local toxicity and only one patient experienced significant systemic side-effects. LSS was subsequently performed in nine of the 13 patients. LSS was feasible in an additional three patients but was not performed because of the emergence of diffused metastatic disease. Conclusions: ILP with rTNF-α and melphalan can allow limb salvage in patients wih locally advanced bone sarcomas who had failed standard treatment options. Its potential role in the treatment of unresectable bone sarcomas of the extremities merits further evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-514
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1999


  • Bone sarcomas
  • Isolated limb perfusion
  • Melphalan
  • Tumour necrosis factor


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