Current status of isolated limb infusion with mild hyperthermia for melanoma.
ABSTRACT Recurrent disease confined to a limb is a frequently encountered clinical problem in patients with melanoma. Regional chemotherapy by isolated limb perfusion (ILP) provides effective treatment but is invasive, complex and costly. Isolated limb infusion (ILI) is a simple yet effective alternative to ILP.
ILI involves drug administration into a limb via percutaneously inserted catheters after vascular isolation of the limb has been achieved with a tourniquet. The infused drug is circulated for 30 minutes via a simple extracorporeal circuit incorporating a heater (to produce mild hyperthermia).
Limb tumour remission rates are similar to those achieved by conventional ILP. ILI is well tolerated, and elderly patients and those with major medical co-morbidities and serious peripheral vascular problems can be treated.
ILI with mild hyperthermia is an established alternative to hyperthermic ILP for patients with recurrent limb melanoma. It can also be used for patients with soft tissue sarcomas and a variety of serious, chronic dermatological conditions.