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Levels of melphalan (L-phenylalanine mustard) were measured in the tissues of tumour-bearing limbs treated by isolated limb perfusion (ILP). 41 samples of melanoma tissue, normal fat and skin were excised from 15 patients during ILP. A high performance liquid chromatography assay was used to measure melphalan concentrations. Levels of melphalan were higher in tumour than in fat (P < 0.01, Wilcoxon signed-ranks test), and not significantly different from levels in adjacent skin. In 2 cases there was significant regional toxicity in the treated limb, but this was not related to the levels of melphalan measured in the tissues of the limb. It is encouraging that the concentrations of melphalan which were achieved in large necrotic nodules by ILP were similar to those in well-perfused normal skin.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Cancer

Publication Date





1811 - 1813


Adipose Tissue, Chemotherapy, Cancer, Regional Perfusion, Humans, Melanoma, Melphalan, Skin, Tissue Distribution