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This study assessed response rates to combination dacarbazine (DTIC), BCNU (carmustine), cisplatin and tamoxifen (DBPT) chemotherapy in patients with progressive metastatic melanoma previously treated with DTIC, as an evaluation of DBPT as a second-line regimen, and as an indirect comparison of DBPT with DTIC. Thirty-five consecutive patients received DBPT. The patients were divided into two groups. Group 1 comprised 17 patients with progressive disease (PD) on DTIC + tamoxifen therapy who were switched directly to DBPT. Group 2 comprised 18 patients not immediately switched to DBPT and included patients who had either a partial response (PR; one patient) or developed stable disease (SD; four patients) with DTIC, or received adjuvant DTIC (nine patients). All except four patients had received tamoxifen at the time of initial DTIC treatment. Median times since stopping DTIC were 22 days (range 20-41) and 285 days (range 50-1,240) in Groups 1 and 2 respectively. In Group 1, one patient developed SD for 5 months and the remainder had PD. In Group 2, there were two PRs, four patients with SD (4, 5, 6, and 6 months), and 11 with PD. These results indicate that the DBPT regimen is not of value in melanoma primarily refractory to DTIC. There were responses in patients not directly switched from DTIC to DBPT, suggesting combination therapy may be of value in a small subgroup of melanoma patients.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Cancer

Publication Date





1759 - 1763


Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols, Carmustine, Cisplatin, Dacarbazine, Female, Humans, Male, Melanoma, Middle Aged, Survival Analysis, Tamoxifen