, Volume 15, Issue 8, pp 2195-2205
Date: 05 Jun 2008

Isolated Limb Infusion for In-Transit Malignant Melanoma of the Extremity: A Well-Tolerated but Less Effective Alternative to Hyperthermic Isolated Limb Perfusion

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access



Isolated limb infusion (ILI) is a recently described minimally invasive technique developed in Australia for delivering regional chemotherapy. This study examined the efficacy and toxicity of ILI, compared to hyperthermic isolated limb perfusion (HILP), in treating extremity in-transit melanoma.


Variables from a prospective single institution database of 120 regionally treated melanoma patients (1995–2007) were compared using chi-square analysis. This included 61 consecutive ILI treatments in 58 patients and 59 HILP treatments in 54 patients. Response was defined at 3 months using the response evaluation criteria in solid tumors (RECIST). ILI was performed using melphalan (LPAM) and dactinomycin for 30 min after limb temperature reached 37°C. HILP was performed using LPAM for 60 min after limb temperature reached 38.5°C.


For ILI (n = 61), the complete response (CR) rate was 30%, the partial response (PR) rate was 14%, and there was no response (NR) in 56% of patients. The median duration of CR was 12 months and 18% of patients experienced (grade ≥3) toxicity. HILP (n = 59) was associated with a better (P < 0.001) response rate (CR 57%, PR 31%, and NR 12%) however, more patients (32%) experienced grade ≥3 toxicity (P = 0.037). The dose of LPAM was corrected for ideal body weight (IBW) in 40 out of 61 ILI procedures, and 13 of 59 HILP procedures. This dosing modification was associated with decreased toxicity (P = 0.024) without diminishing response.


ILI was found to be a well-tolerated alternative to HILP. While ILI does not appear to be as effective as HILP, it does seem to be associated with less morbidity.

Presented in part at the Society of Surgical Oncology’s 61st annual Cancer Symposium, March 13–16, 2008. Chicago, IL.