Published online Nov 27, 2012. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v4.i11.305
Revised: October 12, 2012
Accepted: November 2, 2012
Published online: November 27, 2012
AIM: To analyze the correlation of treatment method with the outcome of all the hepatic metastatic melanoma (HMM) patients from our hospital.
METHODS: There were altogether nine cases of HMM that had been treated in the PUMCH hospital during the past 25 years, from December 1984 to February 2010. All of the cases developed hepatic metastasis from primary cutaneous melanoma. A retrospective review was performed on all the cases in order to draw informative conclusion on diagnosis and treatment in correlation with the prognosis. Clinical features including symptoms, signs, blood test results, B-ultrasound and computed tomography (CT) imaging characteristics, and pathological data were analyzed in each case individually. A simple comparison was made on case by case basis instead of performing statistical analysis since the case numbers are low and patients were much diversified in each item that has been analyzed. Literatures on this subject were reviewed in order to draw a safe conclusion and found to be supportive to our finding in a much broad scope.
RESULTS: There are six males and three females whose ages ranged 39-74 years old with an average of 58.8. Patients were either with or without symptoms at the time of diagnosis. The liver function and tumor marker exam were normal in all but one patient. The incidence of HMM does not affect liver function and was not related to virus infection status in the liver. Most of these HMM patients were also accompanied by the metastases of other locations, including lung, abdominal cavity, and cervical lymph nodes. Ultrasound examinations showed lesions ranging 2-12 cm in diameter, with no- or low-echo peripheral areola. Doppler showed blood flow appeared inside some tumors as well as in the surrounding area. CT image demonstrated low density without uniformed lesions, characterized with calcification in periphery, and enhanced in the arterial phase. Contrast phase showed heterogeneous enhancement, with a density higher than normal liver tissue, which was especially apparent at the edge. Patients were treated differently with following procedures: patients #1, #6 and #8 were operated with hepatectomy with or without removal of primary lesion, and followed by comprehensive biotherapy/chemotherapy; patient #9 received hepatectomy only; patient #2 received bacille calmette-guerin treatment only; patient #7 had Mile’s surgery but no hepatectomy; and patients #3, #4 and #5 had supportive treatment without specific measurement. The patients who had resections of metastatic lesions followed by post-operative comprehensive therapy have an average survival time of 30.7 mo, which is much longer than those did not receive surgery treatment (4.6 mo). Even for the patient receiving a resection of HMM only, the post-operative survival time was 18 mo at the time we reviewed the data. This patient and the patient #6 are still alive currently and subjected to continue following up.
CONCLUSION: Surgical operation should be first choice for HMM treatment, and together with biotherapy/chemotherapy, hepatectomy is likely to bring better prognosis.