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Pegylation does not improve tolerability of interferon alpha-2b for melanoma

Reuters Health • The Doctor's Channel Daily Newscast

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Long-term adjuvant therapy with pegylated interferon alfa-2b (PEG-IFN-alpha-2b) for advanced melanoma improves recurrence-free survival, investigators report in an early online release from the Journal of Clinical Oncology. However, results of their large phase III trial indicate that treatment is associated with adverse effects that have a significant impact on quality of life.

IFN-alpha-2b improves recurrence-free survival in patients at high risk of melanoma recurrence after resection, lead author Dr. Andrew Bottomley, at the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, and associates note. However, there is no consistent evidence that it prolongs overall survival, and it is associated with substantial dose-related toxicity, lead. They theorized that pegylation would improve the benefit-toxicity ratio.

The trial included 1256 patients with resected stage III melanoma randomly assigned to PEG-IFN-alpha-2b or observation. PEG-IFN-alpha-2b was self-administered by weekly subcutaneous injections, at doses of 6