Management of extremity recurrences after complete responses to isolated limb perfusion in patients with melanoma

Andrew L. Feldman, H. Richard Alexander, David L. Bartlett, Douglas L. Fraker, Steven K. Libutti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Background: Despite high rates of complete responses (CRs) to isolated limb perfusion (ILP) for patients with in-transit melanoma (60% to 90%), extremity recurrences are common. We evaluated our experience with managing these recurrences to determine how best to treat these patients. Methods: Between April 1992 and April 1998, 72 patients experienced CRs after hyperthermic ILP using Melphalan, with (n = 46) or without (n = 26) tumor necrosis factor. Of these, 25 patients (35%) experienced initial recurrences in the extremities, and they form the basis of this study. Results: Three patients who underwent repeat ILP for treatment of their recurrences experienced a second CR and recurrence in the extremity (at 9, 15, and 16 months), allowing analysis of 28 cases. For 5 of 20 recurrences managed with excision, 2 of 6 managed with repeat ILP, and 0 of 2 managed with systemic treatment, the patient was free of disease at the last follow-up examination (median follow-up period, 11 months). Conclusions: Isolated extremity recurrences after CRs to ILP occurred in 35% of patients. Initially, these could be managed successfully by excision or repeat ILP for the majority of patients (92%). We recommend excision of small-volume recurrent disease, reserving repeat ILP for patients with increasing numbers of lesions or increasing rapidity of in-field recurrences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)562-567
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Surgical Oncology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Complete response
  • Limb perfusion
  • Melanoma
  • Melphalan
  • Recurrence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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