Purpose: In this manuscript, the safety and efficacy of adjuvant interferon alfa 2b treatment of uveal melanoma is described.
Patients and methods: A total of 39 patients (23 male and 16 female, mean age 56.5 years, range 35-78 years) with uveal melanoma were treated with interferon alfa 2b, 3 million units three times a week subcutaneously for 1 year after therapy of the primary tumor. In all patients age, gender, primary melanoma data, therapeutic interventions, treatment side effects and outcome were documented.
Results: Of the 39 patients, 31 (80%) finished the treatment as scheduled after 1 year. In 18 patients (46%) the initial dose had to be reduced due to leucopenia, thrombopenia, cardiac symptoms, elevated of liver function or vertigo (WHO grade I-III). In eight patients, therapy had to be withdrawn because of serious side effects (five patients) and the appearance of metastases (three patients). Neither a univariate approach nor a multivariate approach could show a protective effect of interferon treatment on survival.
Conclusions: Adjuvant treatment of uveal melanoma with interferon alfa should be abandoned until the question of dose and administration for cutaneous melanoma is solved.