Alternatives for the treatment of local advanced disease: electrochemotherapy, limb perfusion, limb infusion, intralesional IL2. What is the role?


Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Elisabetta Pennacchioli, MD, Surgical Oncologist, European Institute of Oncology, Melanoma and Sarcoma Unit, via Ripamonti 435, Milan 20134, Italy, or email:


Nowadays, melanoma is one of the most common fatal malignancy of young adults. Incidence is increasing, but mortality rates from melanoma have remained stable. In-transit metastases from extremity or trunk melanoma are subcutaneous or cutaneous deposits of melanoma distant from the primary site, but not reaching the draining nodal basin. According to American Joint Committee on Cancer classification of stages based on Tumor, Node, Metastases classification stages IIIb and IIIc are considered local advanced disease and survival outcomes is quite poor, with 5-year survival rates of 24–54%. Loco-regional recurrence is an important risk factor for distant metastatic disease, either synchrone or metachrone. Therapy for this pattern of recurrence is limited and options vary based on the volume and site of disease. Definitive surgical resection remains the preferred therapeutic approach. However, when surgery cannot be performed with a reasonable cosmetic and functional outcome, other options must be utilized. Treatment options are classified as local, regional, or systemic. The choice of therapy depends on the number of lesions, their anatomic location, whether or not they are dermal or subcutaneous, the size, and the presence or absence of extra-regional disease