The European approach to the treatment of each stage of malignant melanoma can be characterized as cautious, avoiding unwarranted mutilation or toxicity, because phase III trials have demonstrated that an aggressive approach in surgical management, adjuvant therapy, and treatment of stage IV disease has met with little success. Phase III trials have demonstrated that wide margins, elective lymph node dissections, and prophylactic isolated limb perfusions bring no survival benefit. Primary melanoma is excised with a margin of 1 cm to maximally 2 cm and primary closure as a rule. There is no standard adjuvant therapy. High-dose interferon treatment is practiced only sporadically in Europe because its high toxicity profile and an unclear long-term impact on survival are not popular. Long-term nontoxic lower-dose interferon regimens and vaccines are currently being explored. Phase III trials have shown that highly toxic polychemotherapy or biochemotherapy has not produced a survival benefit over simple treatment with dacarbazide alone. In Europe biochemotherapy is being abandoned and various less toxic or nontoxic approaches with vaccines and antiangiogenic agents are under study.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1097/00001622-200203000-00011, hdl.handle.net/1765/59580
Journal Current Opinion in Oncology
Citation
Eggermont, A.M.M. (2002). European approach to the treatment of malignant melanoma. Current Opinion in Oncology (Vol. 14, pp. 205–211). doi:10.1097/00001622-200203000-00011