A phase 2 trial of complete resection for stage IV melanoma: Results of Southwest Oncology Group Clinical Trial S9430

Jeffrey A. Sosman*, James Moon, Ralph J. Tuthill, James A. Warneke, John T. Vetto, Bruce G. Redman, P. Y. Liu, Joseph M. Unger, Lawrence E. Flaherty, Vernon K. Sondak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: On the basis of retrospective experience at individual centers, it appears that patients with stage IV melanoma who undergo complete resection have a favorable outcome compared with patients with disseminated stage IV disease. The Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) performed a prospective trial in patients with metastatic melanoma who were enrolled before complete resection of their metastatic disease and provided prospective outcomes in the cooperative group setting. METHODS: Based on their physical examination and radiologic imaging studies, patients with a stage IV melanoma judged amenable to complete resection underwent surgery within 28 days of enrollment. All eligible patients were followed with scans (computed tomography or positron emission tomography) every 6 months until relapse and death. RESULTS: Seventy-seven patients were enrolled from 18 different centers. Of those, 5 patients were ineligible; 2 had stage III disease alone; and 3 had no melanoma in their surgical specimen. In addition, 8 eligible patients had incompletely resected tumor. Therefore, the primary analysis included 64 completely resected patients. Twenty patients (31%) had visceral disease. With a median follow-up of 5 years, the median relapse-free survival was 5 months (95% CI, 3-7 months) whereas median overall survival was 21 months (95% CI, 16-34 months). Overall survivals at 3 and 4 years were 36% and 31%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: In a prospective multicenter setting, appropriately selected patients with stage IV melanoma achieved prolonged overall survival after complete surgical resection. Although median relapse-free survival was only 5 months, patients could still frequently undergo subsequent surgery for isolated recurrences. This patient population is appropriate for aggressive surgical therapy and for trials evaluating adjuvant therapy. Cancer 2011;. © 2011 American Cancer Society. One of the only prospective analyses of surgery for metastatic disease in patients with stage IV disease, this article reports on a multicenter cooperative group trial with enrollment of patients from 18 different institutions. Incorporating consistent monitoring is a hallmark of cooperative group trials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4740-4706
Number of pages35
Issue number20
StatePublished - Oct 15 2011


  • clinical trial
  • melanoma
  • prognosis
  • surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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