To determine the beneficial effect of maintenance therapy in stage II and III melanoma by sequential local injection of low-dose interferon-β.
We reviewed 46 patients with stage II and III primary melanoma at our institution from 2004 through 2009. Twenty-one patients were treated with interferon-β maintenance therapy consisting of subcutaneous injection of natural interferon-β at a dose of 3 × 10(6) IU/day for 10 consecutive days, and 25 patients underwent observation alone.
Compared with all patients, overall survival and relapse-free survival were significantly worse in the observation group than in the interferon-β group (p = 0.024 and 0.029, respectively). In stage II, a significant difference in overall survival, but not in relapse-free survival, was seen between the two groups (p = 0.041). When the interferon-β group was stratified by subgroup, there was a statistical difference only between dosage and duration (p = 0.027 and p < 0.001, respectively).
This study demonstrates that maintenance therapy by interferon-β is beneficial in the outcome of the disease without substantial toxic effects, especially in patients with stage II melanoma. Extension of the duration of treatment beyond 2 years could further improve the therapeutic efficacy of interferon-β.
"In a Japanese study of 46 patients with stage II and III primary cutaneous melanoma, 21 patients were treated with low-dose IFN-β maintenance therapy, and 25 patients underwent observation alone. Overall survival (OS) and relapse-free survival (RFS) were significantly worse in the observation group: mean OS was 56.3 months for the observation group and 90.6 months for the IFN group, and mean RFS was 54.9 months for the observation group versus 90.3 months for the IFN group . The effects of type I IFNs on melanoma have been summarized in Table 4. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Interferons (IFNs) are a family of naturally existing glycoproteins known for their antiviral activity and their ability to influence the behavior of normal and transformed cell types. Type I Interferons include IFN- α and IFN- β . Currently, IFN- α has numerous approved antitumor applications, including malignant melanoma, in which IFN- α has been shown to increase relapse free survival. Moreover, IFN- α has been successfully used in the intralesional treatment of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and basal cell carcinoma (BCC). In spite of these promising clinical results; however, there exists a paucity of knowledge on the precise anti-tumor action of IFN- α / β at the cellular and molecular levels in cutaneous malignancies such as SCC, BCC, and melanoma. This review summarizes current knowledge on the extent to which Type I IFN influences proliferation, apoptosis, angiogenesis, and immune function in normal skin, cutaneous SCC, BCC, and melanoma.
Dermatology Research and Practice 01/2014; 2014:847545. DOI:10.1155/2014/847545
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During the last two decades, a number of approaches for the activation of the immune system against cancer has been developed. These include highly specific interventions, such as monoclonal antibodies, vaccines and cell-based therapies, as well as relatively unselective strategies, such as the systemic administration of adjuvants and immunomodulatory cytokines. Cytokines constitute a huge group of proteins that, taken together, regulate not only virtually all the aspects of innate and cognate immunity, but also several other cellular and organismal functions. Cytokines operate via specific transmembrane receptors that are expressed on the plasma membrane of target cells and, depending on multiple variables, can engage autocrine, paracrine or endocrine signaling pathways. The most appropriate term for defining the cytokine network is "pleiotropic": cytokines are produced by - and operate on - multiple, often overlapping, cell types, triggering context-depend biological outcomes as diverse as cell proliferation, chemotaxis, differentiation, inflammation, elimination of pathogens and cell death. Moreover, cytokines often induce the release of additional cytokines, thereby engaging self-amplificatory or self-inhibitory signaling cascades. In this Trial Watch, we will summarize the biological properties of cytokines and discuss the progress of ongoing clinical studies evaluating their safety and efficacy as immunomodulatory agents against cancer.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dendritic cells (DCs) occupy a central position in the immune system, orchestrating a wide repertoire of responses that span from the development of self-tolerance to the elicitation of potent cellular and humoral immunity. Accordingly, DCs are involved in the etiology of conditions as diverse as infectious diseases, allergic and autoimmune disorders, graft rejection and cancer. During the last decade, several methods have been developed to load DCs with tumor-associated antigens, ex vivo or in vivo, in the attempt to use them as therapeutic anticancer vaccines that would elicit clinically relevant immune responses. While this has not always been the case, several clinical studies have demonstrated that DC-based anticancer vaccines are capable of activating tumor-specific immune responses that increase overall survival, at least in a subset of patients. In 2010, this branch of clinical research has culminated with the approval by FDA of a DC-based therapeutic vaccine (sipuleucel-T, Provenge(®)) for use in patients with asymptomatic or minimally symptomatic metastatic hormone-refractory prostate cancer. Intense research efforts are currently dedicated to the identification of the immunological features of patients that best respond to DC-based anticancer vaccines. This knowledge may indeed lead to personalized combination strategies that would extend the benefit of DC-based immunotherapy to a larger patient population. In addition, widespread enthusiasm has been generated by the results of the first clinical trials based on in vivo DC targeting, an approach that holds great promises for the future of DC-based immunotherapy. In this Trial Watch, we will summarize the results of recently completed clinical trials and discuss the progress of ongoing studies that have evaluated/are evaluating DC-based interventions for cancer therapy.
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