Factors predicting toxicity and response following isolated limb infusion for melanoma: An international multi-centre study

Timothy J. Kenyon-Smith, Hidde M. Kroon, John T. Miura, Jüri Teras, Georgia M. Beasley, Dean Mullen, Norma E. Farrow, Paul J. Mosca, Michael C. Lowe, Clara R. Farley, Aishwarya Potdar, Hala Daou, James Sun, Jeffrey M. Farma, Michael A. Henderson, David Speakman, Jonathan Serpell, Keith A. Delman, B. Mark Smithers, Andrew BarbourBrendon J. Coventry, Douglas S. Tyler, Jonathan S. Zager, John F. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Introduction: Isolated limb infusion (ILI) is a minimally-invasive procedure for delivering high-dose regional chemotherapy to treat melanoma in-transit metastases confined to a limb. The aim of this international multi-centre study was to identify predictive factors for toxicity and response. Methods: Data of 687 patients who underwent a first ILI for melanoma in-transit metastases confined to the limb between 1992 and 2018 were collected at five Australian and four US tertiary referral centres. Results: After ILI, predictive factors for increased limb toxicity (Wieberdink grade III/IV limb toxicity, n = 192, 27.9%) were: female gender, younger age, procedures performed before 2005, lower limb procedures, higher melphalan dose, longer drug circulation and ischemia times, and increased tissue hypoxia. No patient experienced grade V toxicity (necessitating amputation). A complete response (n = 199, 28.9%) was associated with a lower stage of disease, lower burden of disease (BOD) and thinner Breslow thickness of the primary melanoma. Additionally, an overall response (combined complete and partial response, n = 441, 64.1%) was associated with female gender, Australian centres, procedures performed before 2005, lower limb procedures and lower actinomycin-D doses. On multivariate analysis, higher melphalan dose remained a predictive factor for toxicity, while lower stage of disease and lower BOD remained predictive factors for overall response. Conclusion: ILI is safe and effective to treat melanoma in-transit metastases. Predictive factors for toxicity and response identified in this study will allow improved patient selection and optimization of intra-operative parameters to increase response rates, while keeping toxicity low.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2140-2146
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Surgical Oncology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • Isolated limb infusion
  • Loco-regionally metastatic disease
  • Melanoma
  • Multi-centre
  • Regional chemotherapy
  • Response
  • Toxicity
  • in-transit disease
  • metastatic melanoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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