Research Article

Interferon-α-2b as an adjuvant therapy prolongs survival of patients with previously resected oral muscosal melanoma

Published: October 05, 2015
Genet. Mol. Res. 14 (4) : 11944-11954 DOI: 10.4238/2015.October.5.8

Abstract

Two major subtypes of melanoma include cutaneous melanoma and mucosal melanoma. The latter type is rare and usually occurs in the head and neck region. High-dose interferon-α-2b (IFN-α-2b) has proven effective in the treatment of cutaneous melanoma. Recently, a regimen of temozolomide plus cisplatin was reported more likely to improve relapse-free survival and overall survival than high-dose IFN-α-2b for mucosal melanoma. We conducted this study to analyze the therapeutic effect of high-dose IFN-α-2b for patients with oral mucosal melanoma who had received prior chemotherapy. One hundred and seventeen patients with stage III-IVa oral mucosal melanoma who had received chemotherapy were analyzed. The overall survival and relapse-free survival were compared between the patients with/without high-dose IFN-α-2b. The results indicate that the IFN-α-2b treatment group had a longer relapse-free survival rate (P = 0.0169) as compared to the control group. However, the overall survival was not significant between the two groups (P = 0.096), except in patients in stage IVa, whose overall survival increased by 20 months (P = 0.0146). The adverse reactions included a drug-induced influenza-like syndrome, gastrointestinal responses, myelosuppression, and hepatoxicity, which were predominantly of grade 1-2 and reversible. Thus, patients with resected oral mucosal melanoma, even those who have received chemotherapy, could benefit from the treatment of high-dose IFN-α-2b.

Two major subtypes of melanoma include cutaneous melanoma and mucosal melanoma. The latter type is rare and usually occurs in the head and neck region. High-dose interferon-α-2b (IFN-α-2b) has proven effective in the treatment of cutaneous melanoma. Recently, a regimen of temozolomide plus cisplatin was reported more likely to improve relapse-free survival and overall survival than high-dose IFN-α-2b for mucosal melanoma. We conducted this study to analyze the therapeutic effect of high-dose IFN-α-2b for patients with oral mucosal melanoma who had received prior chemotherapy. One hundred and seventeen patients with stage III-IVa oral mucosal melanoma who had received chemotherapy were analyzed. The overall survival and relapse-free survival were compared between the patients with/without high-dose IFN-α-2b. The results indicate that the IFN-α-2b treatment group had a longer relapse-free survival rate (P = 0.0169) as compared to the control group. However, the overall survival was not significant between the two groups (P = 0.096), except in patients in stage IVa, whose overall survival increased by 20 months (P = 0.0146). The adverse reactions included a drug-induced influenza-like syndrome, gastrointestinal responses, myelosuppression, and hepatoxicity, which were predominantly of grade 1-2 and reversible. Thus, patients with resected oral mucosal melanoma, even those who have received chemotherapy, could benefit from the treatment of high-dose IFN-α-2b.