Toxicity of combined treatment of adjuvant irradiation and interferon α2b in high-risk melanoma patients

Carlos Conill, Sandra Jorcano, Josep Domingo-Domènech, Jordi Marruecos, Ramón Vilella, Josep Malvehy, Susana Puig, Marcelo Sánchez, Rosa Gallego, Teresa Castel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Surgically resected stage III melanoma patients commonly receive adjuvant therapy with interferon (IFN) α2b. For those patients with high-risk features of draining node recurrence, radiation therapy can also be considered as a treatment option. The purpose of this retrospective study was to assess the efficacy and radiation-related toxicity of this combined therapy. Eighteen patients receiving adjuvant IFNα2b therapy during radiation therapy, or within 1 month of its completion, were reviewed retrospectively and analysed for outcome. Radiation was delivered at 600 cGy dose per fraction, in 16 out of 18 patients, twice a week, and at 200 cGy dose per fraction in two patients five times a week. Total radiation dose and number of fractions were as follows: 30 Gy/5 fr (n=8), 36 Gy/6 fr (n=8) and 50 Gy/25 fr (n=2). The percentage of disease-free patients, with no local recurrence, at 3 years was 88%. In 10 patients, IFNα2b was administered concurrently with radiotherapy; in three, within 30 days before or after radiation; and in five, more than 30 days after radiation. All the patients experienced acute skin reactions, grade I on the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) scale. Late radiation-related toxicity was seen in one patient with grade III (RTOG) skin reaction and two with grade IV (RTOG) radiation-induced myelitis. Concurrent use of adjuvant radiotherapy and IFNα2b might enhance radiation-induced toxicity, and special care should be taken when the spinal cord is included in the radiation field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)304-309
Number of pages6
JournalMelanoma Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Immunotherapy
  • Interferon α2b
  • Melanoma
  • Radiotherapy


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