Our objective was to evaluate the toxicity and antitumor efficacy of concurrent biochemotherapy in metastatic melanoma patients and the effectiveness of adding temozolomide to protect the brain from metastases. Twenty-three patients with advanced inoperable melanoma were hospitalized for 5-6 days for the following treatment: cisplatin 20 mg/m daily for 4 days, vinblastine 1.6 mg/m daily for 4 days and oral temozolomide 250 mg/m daily for 5 days, with 18 x 10 IU/m intravenous interleukin-2 by continuous infusion for 4 days (the dose was cut daily by 50%) and 5 x 10 U/m interferon-alfa subcutaneously daily for 5 days, repeated at 28-day intervals for a maximum of nine courses. According to the standard World Health Organization response criterion, the objective response rate was 43.4% and the median survival was 18.6 months. All but one patient survived for more than 12 months, and no responding patient progressed first in the brain. Substituting dacarbazine by temozolomide in the MD Anderson melanoma section protocol appears to offer protection against dissemination of brain metastases, equal activity in the periphery and a possible lower incidence of toxicity due to the oral route.