Surgery Today

, Volume 27, Issue 8, pp 719–725 | Cite as

Technique and results of regional hyperthermic cytostatic arm perfusion for malignant melanoma

  • Peter Würl
  • Uwe Eichfeld
  • Hans-Dieter Pauer
  • Albrecht Gläser
  • Uwe Rose
  • Henning Dralle
Original Articles


Isolated hyperthermic cytostatic limb perfusion has been established as an efficient procedure for the treatment of malignant melanoma of the limbs. However, perfusions of the upper extremities are generally carried out much less frequently than would be expected given the distribution pattern of malignant melanoma and sarcoma. Thus, isolated descriptions of treatment results for perfusion of the upper extremities are not available. Between 1991 and 1994, arm perfusions using melphalan 1.0mg/kg body weight were given to 14 patients with malignant melanoma, using the standardized method of perfusion described herein. Within an average observation period of 34.9 months (range, 12–65 months), 11 (78.7%) of the 14 patients who had M.D. Anderson stage II–IV melanoma remained free of local recurrence. In fact, 10 (71.6%) of the patients were still alive at the end of the observation period. None of the 14 patients showed any systemic adverse effects, although 1 patient developed a lymphedema 32 months after perfusion and 2 patients showed a postoperative temporary neurologic deficit. These results demonstrate that isolated perfusion of the upper limb with heat and melphalan under standardized conditions remains the treatment of choice for melanoma of the arm, as for melanoma of the leg, without a higher rate of complications.

Key Words

arm perfusion melphalan melanoma recurrence survival 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Würl
    • 1
  • Uwe Eichfeld
    • 1
  • Hans-Dieter Pauer
    • 1
  • Albrecht Gläser
    • 1
  • Uwe Rose
    • 1
  • Henning Dralle
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of General SurgeryMartin-Luther-University HalleHalleGermany

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