BACKGROUND: Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is an important issue in the rapidly evolving field of adjuvant treatment for stage III melanoma. Dendritic cell vaccination is one of the adjuvant forms of therapy currently investigated.
METHODS: We enrolled adults with stage III melanoma to receive adjuvant dendritic cell vaccination after a complete radical lymph node dissection. HRQoL assessment was one of the secondary endpoints of this trial and investigated with the EORTC-QLQ-C30 questionnaire at baseline and week 26.
RESULTS: Fifteen patients with a median age of 50 years were included in the study, with twelve evaluable patients on study at time of the second questionnaire. Global health status and role functioning improved clinically relevant with a mean difference of 15 (p = 0.010) and 26 points (p = 0.005), respectively.
DISCUSSION: Despite the small number of patients, we found a clinically relevant improved global health status. Besides, compared to the other investigated therapies, toxicity of dendritic cell vaccination is low, which supports our finding.
CONCLUSION: This is the first description of HRQoL in melanoma patients receiving dendritic cell vaccination. We show the expected improvement in global health status after surgical treatment of stage III melanoma. Thus, adjuvant dendritic cell vaccination does not seem to hamper this improvement, as shown in our small explorative study.