Hyperthermic isolated limb perfusion (HILP) with tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), interferon gamma, and melphalan has proved to be useful in the treatment of recurrent malignant melanoma and of locally advanced soft tissue sarcomas of the extremities.
To determine whether this modality is also effective in the treatment of locally advanced nonmelanoma skin tumors of the extremities.
Patients and Methods
Fifteen patients with locally advanced primary, recurrent, or metastatic skin tumors of the extremities (12 with squamous cell carcinoma and 3 with Merkel cell carcinoma) underwent HILP with TNF-α, interferon gamma, and melphalan. Six tumors were localized in the upper extremity (40%), and 9 in the lower extremity (60%). Treatment-related complications, limb salvage rate, local recurrence, and regional and distant metastases were scored during a median follow-up of 20 months.
After HILP, 9 patients (60%) showed a complete response (with histopathological confirmation). Four patients (27%) showed a partial response (with histopathological confirmation in 1 patient), and 2 patients (13%) showed no change (with histopathological confirmation in 1 patient and with clinical evidence in 1 patient). Two patients (13%) showed treatment-related complications. The limb salvage was achieved in 12 patients (80%), and the local recurrences developed in 4 patients (27%). During follow-up, regional lymph node metastases were observed in 2 patients (13%) and distant metastases in 2 patients (13%).
Based on our results, HILP with TNF-α, interferon gamma, and melphalan should be considered as a limb-saving treatment modality in patients with locally advanced nonmelanoma skin tumors of the extremities who would otherwise be candidates for ablative surgery.