We performed hyperthermic isolated limb perfusion (HILP) in 21 patients (total: 25 procedures) with malignant melanoma including 13 cases of stage III and 8 cases of stage II from 1993 to 1998. All patients received radical resection of their tumors, lymph node dissection and immunochemotherapy. Local recurrences and/or distant metastases developed in 7 of the 21 cases after HILP treatment. The median disease-free time in these cases was 6 months. All recurrent cases already had metastases in regional lymph node(s) (stage III) and 6 had in-transit metastases when HILP was performed. NK activities of the recurrent patients were relatively lower than those of non-recurrent patients during and after HILP, although no difference in T cell proliferation activities stimulated by PHA was found.
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