Durable complete responses in metastatic melanoma treated with interleukin-2 in combination with interferon alpha and chemotherapy

Semin Oncol. 1997 Feb;24(1 Suppl 4):S39-43.


Biochemotherapy, which uses recombinant interferon alpha (rIFN-alpha) and recombinant interleukin-2 (rIL-2) in combination with chemotherapy is a promising therapy for metastatic malignant melanoma. Various biochemotherapy regimens have produced overall objective response rates of > 50% and durable complete remission (CR) in approximately 10%-of treated patients. One such biochemotherapy regimen, consisting of sequential administration of cisplatin, vinblastine, and dacarbazine (CVD regimen) followed by rIFN-alpha and rIL-2, has produced a response rate of 60% and a CR rate of 20% in the most recent cohort of 62 patients treated at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. The duration of partial responses with this and similar regimens typically averages 6 to 9 months; however, more than half of the CRs achieved with this regimen have been durable for 3+ to 5+ years. This has raised the possibility of long-term survival in approximately 10% of patients with metastatic melanoma. If confirmed, this will represent a significant advance in the treatment of metastatic melanoma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / adverse effects
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Cyclophosphamide / administration & dosage
  • Cyclophosphamide / adverse effects
  • Dacarbazine / administration & dosage
  • Dacarbazine / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Interferon-alpha / administration & dosage*
  • Interferon-alpha / adverse effects
  • Interleukin-2 / administration & dosage*
  • Interleukin-2 / adverse effects
  • Melanoma / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Skin Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Vincristine / administration & dosage
  • Vincristine / adverse effects


  • Interferon-alpha
  • Interleukin-2
  • Vincristine
  • Dacarbazine
  • Cyclophosphamide

Supplementary concepts

  • CVD protocol