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Marybeth S. Hughes MD, Jonathan Zager MD, Mark Faries MD, H. Richard Alexander MD, Richard E. Royal MD, Bradford Wood MD, Junsung Choi MD, Kevin McCluskey MD, Eric Whitman MD, Sanjiv Agarwala MD, Gary Siskin MD, Charles Nutting DO, Mary Ann Toomey RN, Carole Webb RN, Tatiana Beresnev MD, James F. Pingpank MD, FACS
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There is no consensus for the treatment of melanoma metastatic to the liver. Percutaneous hepatic perfusion with melphalan (PHP-Mel) is a method of delivering regional chemotherapy selectively to the liver. In this study, we report the results of a multicenter, randomized controlled trial comparing PHP-Mel with best alternative care (BAC) for patients with ocular or cutaneous melanoma metastatic to the liver.
A total of 93 patients were randomized to PHP-Mel (n = 44) or BAC (n = 49). On the PHP-Mel arm, melphalan was delivered via the hepatic artery, and the hepatic effluent captured and filtered extracorporeally prior to return to the systemic circulation via a venovenous bypass circuit. PHP-Mel was repeatable every 4–8 weeks. The primary endpoint was hepatic progression-free survival (hPFS), and secondary endpoints included overall PFS (oPFS), overall survival (OS), hepatic objective response (hOR), and safety.
hPFS was 7.0 months for PHP-Mel and 1.6 months for BAC (p < 0.0001), while oPFS was 5.4 months for PHP-Mel and 1.6 months for BAC (p < 0.0001). Median OS was not significantly different (PHP-Mel 10.6 months vs. BAC 10.0 months), likely due to crossover to PHP-Mel treatment (57.1 %) from the BAC arm, and the hOR was 36.4 % for PHP-Mel and 2.0 % for BAC (p < 0.001). The majority of adverse events were related to bone marrow suppression. Four deaths were attributed to PHP-Mel, three in the primary PHP-Mel group, and one post-crossover to PHP-Mel from BAC.
This randomized, phase III study demonstrated the efficacy of the PHP-Mel procedure. hPFS, oPFS, and hOR were significantly improved with PHP-Mel. PHP with melphalan should provide a new treatment option for unresectable metastatic melanoma in the liver.
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