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Bottomley, A; Coens, C; Suciu, S; Santinami, M; Kruit, W; Testori, A; Marsden, J; Punt, C; Salès, F; Gore, M; Mackie, R; Kusic, Z; Dummer, R; Patel, P; Schadendorf, D; Spatz, A; Keilholz, U; Eggermont, A (2009). Adjuvant therapy with pegylated interferon alfa-2b versus observation in resected stage III melanoma: a phase III randomized controlled trial of health-related quality of life and symptoms by the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Melanoma Group. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 27(18):2916-2923.

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PURPOSE: Interferon (IFN) -based adjuvant therapy in melanoma is associated with significant side effects, which necessitates evaluation of health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Our trial examined the HRQOL effects of adjuvant pegylated IFN-alpha-2b (PEG-IFN-alpha-2b) versus observation in patients with stage III melanoma. METHODS: A total of 1,256 patients with stage III melanoma were randomly assigned after full lymphadenectomy to receive either observation (n = 629) or PEG-IFN-alpha-2b (n = 627): induction 6 micrograms/kg/wk [DOSAGE ERROR CORRECTED] for 8 weeks then maintenance 3 micrograms/kg/wk [DOSAGE ERROR CORRECTED] for an intended total duration of 5 years. The European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire C30 was used to assess HRQOL. RESULTS: At 3.8 years of median follow-up, for the primary end point, recurrence-free survival (RFS), risk was reduced by 18% (hazard rate = 0.82; P = .01) in the PEG-IFN-alpha-2b arm compared with observation. Significant and clinically meaningful differences occurred with the PEG-IFN-alpha-2b treatment arm compared with the observation group, showing decreased global HRQOL at month 3 (-11.6 points; 99% CI, -8.2 to -15.0) and year 2 (-10.5 points; 99% CI, -6.6 to -14.4). Many of the other scales showed statistically significant differences between scores when comparing the two arms. From a clinical point of view, important differences were found for five scales: two functioning scales (social and role functioning) and three symptom scales (appetite loss, fatigue, and dyspnea), with the PEG-IFN-alpha-2b arm being most impaired. CONCLUSION: PEG-IFN-alpha-2b leads to a significant and sustained improvement in RFS. There is an expected negative effect on global HRQOL and selected symptoms when patients undergo PEG-IFN-alpha-2b treatment.


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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Dermatology Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Deposited On:08 Mar 2010 08:03
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:52
Publisher:American Society of Clinical Oncology
Publisher DOI:10.1200/JCO.2008.20.2069
PubMed ID:19433686

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