From 1978 through February 1986, 49 measurable lesions in 18 patients with recurrent primary or metastatic malignant melanomas were treated with a combination of radiation therapy and hyperthermia. The primary sites were head and neck (eight), chest wall (two), pelvis (one), upper extremities (three), and lower extremities (35). Because of the length of the study, the dose and fractionation of radiation therapy varied (dose per fraction from less than 400 cGy to 800 cGy and a total dose of 2000 cGy to 6000 cGy). This variation was mostly dependent on the prior course of radiation therapy of these lesions. The hyperthermia technique used in these patients was superficial local microwave hyperthermia; a minority of patients were treated with ultrasound. Complete response was achieved in 29 lesions (59-2 per cent) and partial response in six lesions (12 per cent). In a separate analysis of 67 lesions with superficial malignant melanoma who were treated by radiation therapy alone, a 24 per cent complete response and a 34 per cent partial response were achieved. Detailed analyses are presented in regard to dose per fraction, total radiation dose, and the size of lesions.
- Malignant melanoma