Combination chemotherapy with bis chloroethyl nitrosourea (BCNU), vincristine and dimethyl triazeno imidazole carboxamide (DTIC) in disseminated malignant melanoma

Eugene M. McKelvey, James K. Luce, Robert W. Talley, Evan M. Hersh, James S. Hewlett, Thomas E. Moon

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One hundred thirty two patients with disseminated malignant melanoma were treated using a combination of BCNU, vincristine and imidazole carboxamide. A response rate of 23% was observed, while 16% had stable disease. The patients' median survival was 42 months from diagnosis and 5.3 months from the onset of treatment. These results are not significantly different from therapy with imidazole carboxamide alone. Patients on this study were observed to have a significant reduction in the number of lymphocytes in their peripheral blood (mean 1800/mm3, median 1550/mm3). Patients with lymphopenia prior to the onset of therapy (86%) had a similar response rate but a shorter median survival (4.4 months vs. 7.8 months, P = .03) than patients with normal lymphocyte levels. These findings are compatible with recent observations on the importance of host immunocompetence in patients with malignant melanoma. Eosinophil levels were not closely correlated with response, although among patients with eosinophil counts of greater than 300/mm3 (22%), a slightly higher response rate (29%) was observed (P = .13). Eosinophilia did not influence patient survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1977


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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