In a nutshell
This study looked at the safety and effectiveness of isolated limb infusion in elderly patients with melanoma of the skin on a limb (arm/leg) that could not be surgically removed. The study found isolated limb infusion to be safe and effective in elderly patients.
lsolated limb perfusion (ILP) is a method of giving chemotherapy to patients with melanoma of the limb. However, this may be highly damaging to the limb as it temporarily stops the blood supply. It is not often used on elderly patient’s due to the potential side effects. Isolated limb infusion (ILI) does not use the same surgical technique and may be a safer and easier way to give chemotherapy to elderly melanoma patients. The chemotherapy is given through a blood vessel in the limb. The safety and effectiveness of this treatment in elderly patients is not yet known.
Methods & findings
The study examined 316 patients who received ILI treatment. 148 patients were 75 years or older and 168 were aged less than 75 years. Patients over 75 years had more severe melanoma.
The average time the drug was circulating in the limb were lower in the older group (21 minutes) compared to the younger group (24 minutes). 22% of the older group experienced side effects from ILI compared to 37% of the younger group. Side effects included skin redness, blistering and deep tissue damage.
There was no difference in overall survival between the two groups.
The bottom line
This study concluded that isolated limb infusion was safe and effective in elderly patients.
The fine print
The study could not accurately compare complete response rates between ILP and ILI. This was because the characteristics between the patient groups was different. For example, the ILI group were older with more advanced disease. Future research should be conducted to directly compare ILI and ILP in the same patient population.
Discuss with your doctor about the possible benefits of being treated with isolated limb infusion if you have advanced melanoma on the limb.
Published By :
Annals of Surgical Oncology
Aug 10, 2017