Isolated limb infusion (ILI) is a treatment approach for melanoma in which chemotherapy drugs are directly administered into an arm or leg with the disease. The standard chemotherapy drugs used in ILI include melphalan and dactinomycin. However, not all patients respond to this treatment, and many of those who do respond eventually experience a recurrence of melanoma elsewhere in the body.
Investigators in this study want to see if adding the drug ipilimumab to ILI with melphalan and dactinomycin can improve outcome. Ipilimumab is an antibody against CTLA-4, a molecule that controls a part of the immune system by shutting it down. Researchers believe that one way cancers can escape the immune system could be through this shut-down mechanism.
An antibody against CTLA-4 could stop it from turning off the immune system, and allow an immune reaction to continue. This immune reaction may help the body to destroy cancer cells.
View a video for more information about this approach.