OBJECTIVE - Hepatic arterial chemoembolization is an accepted therapy for stage 4 melanoma with liver-dominant metastasis. However, the reports of outcomes are limited. We present our outcomes with hepatic arterial chemoembolization for metastasis of stage 4 melanoma.
MATERIALS AND METHODS - Twenty patients with liver-dominant metastasis of ocular or cutaneous melanoma were treated with hepatic arterial chemoembolization. Overall survival and progression-free survival rates were calculated from the first treatment. Patients with intrahepatic tumor progression were treated with additional hepatic arterial chemoembolization. Both overall survival and progression-free survival were analyzed with the Kaplan-Meier method. Tumor pattern on angiography was characterized as either nodular or infiltrative on the basis of angiographic appearance.
RESULTS - The 20 patients underwent 46 hepatic arterial chemoembolization sessions (mean, 2.4 sessions; range, 1-5). The mean and median overall survival times were 334 +/- 71 and 271 days, respectively. There were no deaths within 30 days of treatment. Thirteen of the 20 patients had progression of disease. The mean and median progression-free survival times for these patients were 231 +/- 42 and 185 days, respectively. Patients with lesions that had a nodular angiographic appearance had longer progression-free survival than patients with lesions that had an infiltrative appearance (mean progression-free survival time, 249 vs 63 days). Patients with lesions that had a nodular angiographic appearance also survived significantly longer than those with lesions that had an infiltrative angiographic pattern (mean overall survival time, 621 vs 114 days; p = 0.0002).
CONCLUSION - Hepatic arterial chemoembolization for liver-dominant metastasis of stage 4 melanoma is a safe treatment that results in longer survival than has occurred among historical controls. Patients with lesions that have a nodular tumor appearance on angiography survive significantly longer than patients with lesions that have an infiltrative appearance on angiography.