Regional hyperthermic perfusion with cisplatin following surgery for malignant melanoma of the extremities

Moshe Z. Papa, Ehud Klein, Tamar Kami, Moshe Koller, Benny Davidson, Ester Azizi, Gur Ben-Ari

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The study was undertaken to review our experience in the treatment of extremity melanoma with hyperthermic isolated limb perfusion (HILP), using cisplatin as the chemotherapeutic agent. We also evaluated the best timing for regional lymph node dissection in relation to the perfusion. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Sixty patients with advanced malignant melanoma of the limbs were treated with HILP used mainly as an adjuvant treatment. There were 56 lower- and 4 upper-limb HILPs. Cisplatin was used at a dose of 20 mg/L of limb volume. Temperature at the tumor site was 39°C to 40°C. Postoperative complications, disease-free period, and time to recurrence were recorded. RESULTS: There were no deaths related to the procedure. Forty-seven percent of the patients developed local complications; most complications were minor and resolved within 60 days. The local complication rate was higher when HILP was performed shortly after or simultaneously with regional lymph node dissection. None of the patients had systemic complications. Mean survival time from treatment was 87.2 months. Currently, 35 patients (58%) are alive and free of disease 52.7 ± 22.5 months after HILP. Twelve patients (20%) are alive with recurrent disease, of which 5 recurred locally. The average time (± standard error of the mean) to recurrence was 24.5 ± 13.8 months after perfusion. CONCLUSIONS: HILP with cisplatin is a relatively safe procedure, which seems to increase locoregional control of advanced malignant melanoma of the extremity. Separating the timing of lymph node dissection from HILP by 6 to 8 weeks reduces the complication rate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)416-420
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1996


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