Adjuvant treatment of in-transit melanoma: Narrowing the knowledge gap left by clinical trials.


Few clinical trials address efficacy of adjuvant systemic treatment in patients with in-transit melanoma (ITM). This study describes adjuvant systemic therapy of ITM patients beyond clinical trials. In this study, we included stage III adjuvant-treated melanoma patients registered in the nationwide Dutch Melanoma Treatment Registry between July 2018 and December 2020. Patients were divided into three groups: nodal disease only, ITM only and ITM and nodal disease. Recurrence patterns, recurrence-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS) at 12-months were analyzed. In our study population of 1037 patients, 66.8% had nodal disease only, 16.7% had ITM only and 16.2% had ITM with nodal disease. RFS at 12-months was comparable in the nodal only and ITM only group (72.2% vs70.1%, P = .97) but lower in ITM and nodal disease patients (57.8%; P = .01, P < .01). Locoregional metastases occurred as first recurrence in 38.9% nodal disease only, 71.9% of ITM-only and 44.0% of ITM and nodal disease patients. Distant recurrences occurred in 42.3%, 18.8% and 36.0%, respectively (P = .02). 12-months OS was not significantly different for nodal disease only patients compared with ITM-only (94.4% vs 97.6%, P = .06) but was significantly higher for ITM-only compared with ITM and nodal disease patients (97.6% vs 91.0%, P < .01). In conclusion, we showed that in the adjuvant setting, RFS rates in ITM-only patients are similar to non-ITM, though better than in ITM and nodal disease patients. Adjuvant-treated ITM-only patients less often experience distant recurrences and have a superior OS compared with ITM and nodal disease patients.

More about this publication

International journal of cancer
  • Volume 153
  • Issue nr. 2
  • Pages 389-398
  • Publication date 15-07-2023

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