Annals of Surgical Oncology

, Volume 22, Supplement 3, pp 356–361 | Cite as

Isolated Limb Perfusion with Melphalan and Tumour Necrosis Factor α for In-Transit Melanoma and Soft Tissue Sarcoma

  • H. G. SmithEmail author
  • J. Cartwright
  • M. J. Wilkinson
  • D. C. Strauss
  • J. M. Thomas
  • A. J. Hayes
Bone and Soft Tissue Sarcomas



Isolated limb perfusion (ILP) is indicated in locally advanced melanoma and soft tissue sarcoma of the extremities. This series reports the outcome of patients undergoing ILP with melphalan and tumour necrosis factor α (TNFα) at a single centre.


All patients undergoing ILP from January 2005 to January 2015 were identified from a prospectively maintained database. Those undergoing ILP for in-transit melanoma (ITM) were grouped according to disease burden: low volume and bulky (>2 cm diameter).


A total of 143 perfusions were attempted: 9 and 134 in the upper and lower limbs, respectively. A response was assessable in 129 patients with overall response rates for ITM and sarcoma of 81.8 and 61.1 %, respectively. No difference was found in response rates between low-volume and bulky ITM. Limb salvage rates in these cohorts were 97 and 62 %. Regional toxicity following ILP was minimal with 7 grade III (5.4 %), and 1 grade V (0.8 %) reactions. Median progression-free survival was 11 months in the ITM cohort and 12 months in the sarcoma cohort. In the ITM cohort, complete responses were significantly more durable than partial responses (p = 0.0004). Median disease-specific survival was 21 months in the ITM cohort and was not reached in the sarcoma cohort.


TNFα-based ILP is safe and provides excellent palliation of ITM due to rapid progression of systemic disease. It is less effective in sarcoma due to lower initial response rates and a lower incidence of disease dissemination.


Melanoma Sarcoma Soft Tissue Sarcoma Ipilimumab Isolate Limb Perfusion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Society of Surgical Oncology 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. G. Smith
    • 1
    Email author
  • J. Cartwright
    • 1
  • M. J. Wilkinson
    • 1
  • D. C. Strauss
    • 1
  • J. M. Thomas
    • 1
  • A. J. Hayes
    • 1
  1. 1.The Sarcoma and Melanoma Units, The Department of Academic SurgeryThe Royal Marsden Hospital NHS Foundation TrustLondonUK

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