Stage IV Surgery Versus Best Medical Therapy

2014-08-27 03:17:58 | BioPortfolio


This study will establish the role of surgical versus nonsurgical approaches in patients whose melanoma has spread to distant sites. Results will help clinicians develop a standardized initial approach that prolongs survival and optimizes quality of life. Results also will indicate whether Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) postoperative immunotherapy significantly improves the outcome of patients treated with surgery.


This study is designed to examine the impact of surgical resection versus medical therapy as initial treatment therapy for patients with Stage IV melanoma. Surgical resection is thought to be efficacious in highly selected patients with solitary metastases, but not in patients with multiple sites of metastases. Even in those with solitary metastases, there is considerable debate among major melanoma centers over whether undergoing initial systemic medical therapy prior to surgical resection should be preferred to initial surgical resection upon Stage IV diagnosis. According to Dr. Dan Coit, Co-leader of the Melanoma Disease Management Team at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Institute in New York, a trial of initial medical therapy is their standard approach on the multidisciplinary melanoma service even for patients with solitary distant metastases (personal communication, 15 Dec 2009).

Many who favor upfront medical therapy believe that delay before surgical resection may avoid unnecessary surgery by identifying patients who progress early due to the outgrowth of occult metastases at multiple sites, which may make the patient unresectable.

This is a Phase III, randomized, international, multicenter study of metastasectomy with or without BCG versus best medical therapy as initial therapy in Stage IV melanoma. This study has three arms: surgical resection plus BCG as an immune adjuvant, surgical resection plus observation, and best medical therapy (BMT). Since no systemic medical therapy has been demonstrated to be superior to DTIC and multiple new therapies are being evaluated, the choice as to what constitutes best medical therapy will be determined by the individual investigator based on the standard of care for systemic medical therapy at that particular multicenter site. Best systemic medical therapy may include clinical trials of new agents or standard non-protocol treatments (e.g., DTIC or Temodar according to the standard of care at the multi-center site).

Patients who progress on the best medical treatment arm may switch to a different medical therapy or, if appropriate, have surgical therapy; similarly, surgery patients may have additional surgical resection or receive medical therapy.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Active Control, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Treatment


Stage IV Resectable Melanoma


Surgery, Surgery plus 2 adjuvant doses of BCG, best medical therapy


John Wayne Cancer Institute
Santa Monica
United States




John Wayne Cancer Institute

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:17:58-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Drug therapy given to augment or stimulate some other form of treatment such as surgery or radiation therapy. Adjuvant chemotherapy is commonly used in the therapy of cancer and can be administered before or after the primary treatment.

Radiotherapy given to augment some other form of treatment such as surgery or chemotherapy. Adjuvant radiotherapy is commonly used in the therapy of cancer and can be administered before or after the primary treatment.

Combined chemotherapy and radiotherapy given to augment some other form of treatment such as surgery. It is commonly used in the therapy of cancer.

A followup operation to examine the outcome of the previous surgery and other treatments, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

Surgery which could be postponed or not done at all without danger to the patient. Elective surgery includes procedures to correct non-life-threatening medical problems as well as to alleviate conditions causing psychological stress or other potential risk to patients, e.g., cosmetic or contraceptive surgery.

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