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BACKGROUND: To investigate the impact of high dose chemoimmunotherapy in addition to surgery on the cumulative survival and disease-free survey of malignant melanoma patients.
METHODS: A total of 86 malignant melanoma patients [35 females (40.7%), 51 males (59.3%), mean age: 55.5] were treated according to their stages between Februrary 1997 and June 2007. After surgery, adjuvant immunotherapy was applied to patients in Stage 2, while adjuvant chemotherapy and adjuvan immunotherapy were administered to those at Stages 3 and 4.
RESULTS: Overall rate of mortality was 31.4% (27/86). The most frequent postoperative complications were wound infection (n=8, 9.3%) in the early period and lymphedema in lower extremities (n=4, 4.6%) in the late period. Temporary and tolerable complications ensourcing from chemoimmunotherapy were encountered in 9 (10.4%) patients. The survival rates and disease-free periods of combined treatment protocol were found to be similar to those in ECOG 1684 and ECOG 1690 studies.
CONCLUSION: Adjuvant immunotherapy and chemoimmunotherapy seem to improve overall survival and disease-free survey in malignant melanoma. Further clinical studies are necessary to demonstrate the actual effectivity of this promising protocol in the management of malignant melanoma.