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Summary

Background

Advanced melanoma is an aggressive disease with a poor prognosis. Approved therapy is limited in the U.K. and, until recently, no treatment had improved survival over best supportive care. A deeper understanding of current clinical practice will help new agents find a place in future treatment pathways.

Objectives

To document U.K. clinical practice for the treatment of patients with unresectable stage III/IV (advanced) melanoma.

Methods

MELODY (melanoma treatment patterns and outcomes among patients with unresectable stage III/IV disease: a retrospective longitudinal survey) compiled registries of consecutive patients with malignant melanoma (any stage) between 1 July 2005 and 30 June 2006 from France, Italy and the U.K. Patients with advanced melanoma and ≥ 2 months of follow-up were eligible for analysis.

Results

There were 220 eligible patients identified in the U.K., of whom 117 (53·2%) received systemic therapy outside of clinical trials. Over half of these patients received dacarbazine as first- or second-line therapy. Healthcare-resource utilization was extensive and patients had short survival times: 1- and 2-year survival rates after first-line systemic treatment were 45·5% [95% confidence interval (CI) 37·1–53·6] and 24·7% (95% CI 17·7–32·3), respectively.

Conclusions

Systemic and palliative treatments used to manage advanced melanoma in the U.K. are associated with considerable healthcare resource utilization and poor short-term survival.