Surgery for Melanoma Liver Mets Can Prolong Survival

“Patients who can undergo complete surgical treatment of melanoma liver metastases should consider this option, say oncologists from California.

“In their experience, hepatic resection [removal of part of the liver] for metastatic melanoma significantly improves survival over medical treatment alone, they report in the July issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

” ‘One of the take-home messages of the study is that surgery still can play a role in the treatment of patients with metastatic melanoma, even in the era of more effective medical therapies,’ said researcher Mark Faries, MD, FACS, director of the melanoma research program at the John Wayne Cancer Institute in Santa Monica, California.”

Biomarkers Predicted OS After Living-Donor Liver Transplantation in Patients with HCC

Pre-transplant neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio and C-reactive protein levels were effective biomarkers when detecting overall survival and disease-free survival rates among patients who underwent living-donor liver transplant for hepatocellular carcinoma, according to recent data.

Researchers designed a model that used pre-transplant neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio (NLR), C-reactive protein (CRP) and Milan criteria to measure disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS) rates among 224 living-donor liver transplant (LDLT) patients. All patients (mean age, 51.9 years; 82.1% men) underwent transplantation for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) between October 2000 and November 2011. Median follow-up was 68 months.

Editor’s note: It is helpful for oncologists to be able to predict how well a given treatment might work for a given patient. This story describes a new method to predict wether a person with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) would benefit from a living-donor liver transplant. Currently, patients are recommended for transplant based on what is known as the Milan criteria. Researchers have now found that two other measurements—known as neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) levels and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels—are linked to survival rates after transplant. These measurements could help identify patients who would benefit from liver transplant, even if they do not meet the Milan criteria for transplant.

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Liver Toxicity Halts Melanoma Study

Unexpected liver toxicity derailed a phase I melanoma trial of concurrent treatment with the first two targeted agents approved for the disease, according to a brief communication from investigators.