Intralesional Sclerosant for in Transit and Cutaneous Melanoma Metastases

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    Melanoma Institute Australia
Updated on 24 January 2021
melanoma skin
malignant melanoma of skin


There is currently an urgent need for low cost and well tolerated intralesional agents for the management of in transit and cutaneous melanoma metastases that are unsuitable for, or resistant to, other therapies. This pilot study will determine whether intralesional injections of the sclerosant polidocanol into intransit and cutaneous melanoma lesions shows promise for efficacy, safety and ease of use that will enable this inexpensive and widely available agent to undergo further evaluation.


Many patients with metastatic melanoma have in transit and other cutaneous metastases. Untreated, these lesions become eroded, haemorrhagic and symptomatic. When systemic therapy is not warranted, has failed or is not tolerated for in transit disease, and when surgery is not feasible or appropriate, other local treatments are needed. Current options include isolated limb infusion for bulky limb disease, topical immunotherapy with contact sensitisers and imiqiuimod for superficial, nonbulky disease or radiation therapy. Intralesional (IL) agents such as Rose Bengal (PV-10, Provectus) and Talimogene laherparepvec (T-Vec, Amgen) have been used for patients with limited numbers of cutaneous metastases with reported overall response rates of 51% and 26% respectively. It is thought that these IL agents can incite regional or even systemic anti-tumour immune responses, thus providing benefit beyond the individual injected lesions. Use of PV-10, which is not an intrinsic immune modulator, was associated with regression of untreated bystander lesions in 27% of patients.

T-Vec is not currently available as a subsidised product in Australia and PV-10 is not currently accessible outside of dual-agent systemic/IL clinical trials. Intralesional injection of the antimetabolites 5-fluorouracil and methotrexate has been used successfully for the treatment of cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma, but the efficacy of these agents in melanoma is unknown. Importantly, the investigator's in transit melanoma patients usually have multiple, often very numerous lesions, making IL injection with adequate volumes of antimetabolites difficult without significant risk of systemic haematologic, hepatic and renal side effects.

Hence there is currently an urgent need for tolerable, low cost and accessible intralesional therapies for in transit and cutaneous melanoma metastases.

This study aims to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of intralesional therapy with the sclerosant polidocanol for treatment of in transit and cutaneously metastatic melanoma unsuitable for other therapies.

Intravascularly injected sclerosants have a long history of safe and effective use in the treatment of varicose veins. Sclerosants have also been used intralesionally for the treatment of cutaneous lesions such as squamous cell carcinoma, pyogenic granulomas, Kaposi sarcoma and angiomas. They are inexpensive, readily accessible and can be easily administered in the clinic to multiple metastases. By inciting cell death within melanoma metastases in the skin, they may also incite anti-tumour immune responses in untreated bystander lesions, as is observed with IL PV-10 therapy.

Condition melanoma, skin cancer, Metastatic Melanoma, Malignant Melanoma, In-Transit Metastasis of Cutaneous Melanoma, In-Transit Metastasis of Cutaneous Melanoma, In-Transit Metastasis of Cutaneous Melanoma
Treatment Polidocanol Injection
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03754140
SponsorMelanoma Institute Australia
Last Modified on24 January 2021


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Is your age greater than or equal to 18 yrs?
Gender: Male or Female
Do you have any of these conditions: In-Transit Metastasis of Cutaneous Melanoma or Metastatic Melanoma or Malignant Melanoma or skin cancer or melanoma?
Do you have any of these conditions: melanoma or Malignant Melanoma or In-Transit Metastasis of Cutaneous Melanoma or skin cancer or Metastatic Melanoma?
Histologically confirmed in transit and/or cutaneous melanoma metastases unsuitable for, or with progressive disease despite systemic, surgical, intra-arterial, topical or radiation therapies
A minimum of 2 accessible lesions

Exclusion Criteria

Periocular lesions
Severe renal impairment defined as an estimated glomerular filtration rate <20ml/min/1.73sqm
Sever liver function abnormality defined as aspartate aminotransferase and / or alanine aminotransferase > 3 x upper limit of normal and / or bilirubin > 1.5 x upper limit of normal
known hypersensitivity to polidocanol or its exipients
Patients unavailble for the full study duration (of a 4 week screening period and 8 week treatment period) because of general frailty, geographical or social reasons
Pregnant or breast feeding female patients
Patients receiving topical or radiation therapy to the in transit and / or cutaneous lesions within 4 weeks of planned start of study treatment (patients receiving current systemic immunotherapy which is deemed appropriate to continue, despite progression of disease in the skin, in order to reduce the likelihood of visceral metastases are eligible)
Patients receiving sclerosants for other indications within 4 weeks of planned start of study treatment or during study treatment
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