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April 22/29, 1998

Interferon for Melanoma: Another Application of Immunopharmacology

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1998;279(16):1263. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-279-16-jac80007

To the Editor—In their article on immunotherapy, Drs Ballow and Nelson1 omit an important clinical application of interferon therapy. Adjuvant interferon alfa-2b for melanoma is now a well-established standard of care among oncologists. The Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group trial EST 16842 demonstrated that, after resection, patients with lesions of Breslow depth more than 4 mm and any lesion associated with positive regional lymph nodes, either clinically or pathologically, experienced up to a 42% increase in disease-free survival with adjuvant interferon therapy. This also represents an overall benefit for patients with high-risk lesions.