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Posted by on Nov 24, 2018 in Melanoma | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study wanted to find out how well two chemotherapy drugs, fotemustine (Muphoran) and temozolomide (Temodar) work in treating melanoma that had spread to other organs (metastatic melanoma). The study found that some of the patients responded to this combination of medications.

Some background

Metastatic melanoma can often be hard to treat. Currently, using a technique called immunotherapy seems to be the most effective. However, sometimes immunotherapy does not work. There need to be other options available as alternative treatments. It is not known if using a low-dose combination of fotemustine and temozolomide will work in treating metastatic melanoma.

Methods & findings

This study had 69 patients. All of them had been diagnosed with metastatic melanoma. None of them had previously had chemotherapy treatment. In some cases, the cancer had spread to the brain. All the patients in the trial had late-stage melanoma. They were all treated with fotemustine and temozolomide.

Overall, 30.3% of the patients in the study responded to the treatment, which means the tumors either stopped growing, or got smaller. 3 of the patients had a complete response where there was no cancer detected in the body after treatment. The patients survived on average for 10 months.

The bottom line

This study found that using a combination of fotemustine and temozolomide was partially effective in treating metastatic melanoma.  

The fine print

This is a very small study. All of the patients had a very poor chance of survival when the study started. This may need to be done again with patients with less advanced cancer. The medications are not approved for use in the USA.

What’s next?

Look out for more research on these medications.

Published By :

BMC cancer

Date :

May 10, 2018

Original Title :

The search for a melanoma-tailored chemotherapy in the new era of personalized therapy: a phase II study of chemo-modulating temozolomide followed by fotemustine and a cooperative study of GOIM (Gruppo Oncologico Italia Meridionale).

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