100% Complete response rate in patients with cutaneous metastatic melanoma treated with intralesional interleukin (IL)-2, imiquimod, and topical retinoid combination therapy: results of a case series

Published on Friday, 04 December 2015


BACKGROUND: Patients with cutaneous melanoma metastases have experienced excellent responses to intralesional interleukin (IL)-2. This has led to its recent inclusion into the US National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines for management of cutaneous melanoma metastases. Despite this, intralesional IL-2 has not been highlighted in the US literature nor have US physicians adopted it.

OBJECTIVE: We sought to evaluate the effectiveness of intralesional IL-2 combined with topical imiquimod and retinoid for treatment of cutaneous metastatic melanoma.

METHODS: A retrospective case series of 11 patients with cutaneous metastatic melanoma were treated with intralesional IL-2 combined with topical imiquimod and retinoid.

RESULTS: A 100% complete local response rate with long-term follow-up (average of 24 months) was seen in all 11 patients treated with this proposed regimen. Biopsy specimens of treated sites confirmed absence of malignant cells. The most common treatment-related adverse event was rigors.

LIMITATIONS: Small number of patients, retrospective review of charts, and lack of a comparison group were limitations.

CONCLUSION: Intralesional IL-2 administered concomitantly with topical imiquimod and a retinoid cream is a promising therapeutic option for managing cutaneous melanoma metastases. The regimen was well tolerated and should be considered as a reasonable alternative to surgical excision.



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See also All-Trans-Retinoic Acid (ATRA - analogues and/or derivatives).