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Vol. 208, No. 1, 2004
Issue release date: 2004
Dermatology 2004;208:43–48

Interferon Alpha as Adjuvant Postsurgical Treatment of Melanoma: A Meta-Analysis

Pirard D. · Heenen M. · Melot C. · Vereecken P.
aDepartment of Dermatology and bIntensive Care, Erasme Hospital, Brussels, Belgium

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Background: The literature on the benefit of α-interferon (IFN-α) as adjuvant postsurgical treatment of melanoma reports discordant results. Objective: With the published data so far, we performed a meta-analysis in order to evaluate the effect of IFN-α on the relapse rate (RR) and the overall survival (OS). Methods: Published randomised trials were identified by Medline search. Stage IV melanoma was not considered. Results: Nine published studies were included, with a total of 2,880 patients. Both the per protocol and the intention-to-treat analysis show that IFN-α significantly decreased the RR (OR = 0.74; 95% CI = 0.64–0.86). Subgroup analyses show that, for all stages, high and low doses decreased the RR (OR = 0.71, 95% CI = 0.54–0.92, and OR = 0.76, 95% CI = 0.63–0.91, respectively). No difference has been evidenced on OS. Conclusions: High and low doses of IFN-α significantly decrease the RR, but the OS does not seem to be improved.

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