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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Interferon alpha for the adjuvant treatment of cutaneous melanoma

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, June 2013
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (94th percentile)
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (75th percentile)

Mentioned by

1 blog
24 tweeters
2 Facebook pages
1 Wikipedia page
1 research highlight platform


181 Dimensions

Readers on

231 Mendeley
Interferon alpha for the adjuvant treatment of cutaneous melanoma
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, June 2013
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd008955.pub2
Pubmed ID

Simone Mocellin, Marko B Lens, Sandro Pasquali, Pierluigi Pilati, Vanna Chiarion Sileni


Interferon alpha is the only agent approved for the postoperative adjuvant treatment of high-risk cutaneous melanoma. However, the survival advantage associated with this treatment is unclear, especially in terms of overall survival. Thus, adjuvant interferon is not universally considered a gold standard treatment by all oncologists. To assess the disease-free survival and overall survival effects of interferon alpha as adjuvant treatment for people with high-risk cutaneous melanoma. We searched the following databases up to August 2012: the Cochrane Skin Group Specialised Register, CENTRAL in The Cochrane Library (2012, issue 8), MEDLINE (from 2005), EMBASE (from 2010), AMED (from 1985), and LILACS (from 1982). We also searched trials databases in 2011, and proceedings of the ASCO annual meeting from 2000 to 2011. We checked the reference lists of selected articles for further references to relevant trials. We included only randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing interferon alpha to observation (or any other treatment) for the postoperative (adjuvant) treatment of patients with high-risk skin melanoma, that is, people with regional lymph node metastasis (American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) TNM (tumour, lymph node, metastasis) stage III) undergoing radical lymph node dissection, or people without nodal disease but with primary tumour thickness greater than 1 mm (AJCC TNM stage II). Two authors extracted data, and a third author independently verified the extracted data. The main outcome measure was the hazard ratio (HR), which is the ratio of the risk of the event occurring in the treatment arm (adjuvant interferon) compared to the control arm (no adjuvant interferon). The survival data were either entered directly into Review Manager (RevMan) or extrapolated from Kaplan-Meier plots and then entered into RevMan. Based on the presence of between-study heterogeneity, we applied a fixed-effect or random-effects model for calculating the pooled estimates of treatment efficacy. Eighteen RCTs enrolling a total of 10,499 participants were eligible for the review. The results from 17 of 18 of these RCTs, published between 1995 and 2011, were suitable for meta-analysis and allowed us to quantify the therapeutic efficacy of interferon in terms of disease-free survival (17 trials) and overall survival (15 trials). Adjuvant interferon was associated with significantly improved disease-free survival (HR (hazard ratio) = 0.83; 95% CI (confidence interval) 0.78 to 0.87, P value < 0.00001) and overall survival (HR = 0.91; 95% CI 0.85 to 0.97; P value = 0.003). We detected no significant between-study heterogeneity (disease-free survival: I² statistic = 16%, Q-test P value = 0.27; overall survival: I² statistic = 6%; Q-test P value = 0.38).Considering that the 5-year overall survival rate for TNM stage II-III cutaneous melanoma is 60%, the number needed to treat (NNT) is 35 participants (95% CI = 21 to 108 participants) in order to prevent 1 death. The results of subgroup analysis failed to answer the question of whether some treatment features (i.e. dosage, duration) might have an impact on interferon efficacy or whether some participant subgroups (i.e. with or without lymph node positivity) might benefit differently from interferon adjuvant treatment.Grade 3 and 4 toxicity was observed in a minority of participants: In some trials, no-one had fever or fatigue of Grade 3 severity, but in other trials, up to 8% had fever and up to 23% had fatigue of Grade 3 severity. Less than 1% of participants had fever and fatigue of Grade 4 severity. Although it impaired quality of life, toxicity disappeared after treatment discontinuation. The results of this meta-analysis support the therapeutic efficacy of adjuvant interferon alpha for the treatment of people with high-risk (AJCC TNM stage II-III) cutaneous melanoma in terms of both disease-free survival and, though to a lower extent, overall survival. Interferon is also valid as a reference treatment in RCTs investigating new therapeutic agents for the adjuvant treatment of this participant population. Further investigation is required to select people who are most likely to benefit from this treatment.

Twitter Demographics

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 231 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Spain 1 <1%
Netherlands 1 <1%
Switzerland 1 <1%
Unknown 228 99%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 43 19%
Student > Bachelor 29 13%
Researcher 27 12%
Student > Ph. D. Student 25 11%
Other 23 10%
Other 39 17%
Unknown 45 19%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 102 44%
Nursing and Health Professions 17 7%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 13 6%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 13 6%
Psychology 8 3%
Other 27 12%
Unknown 51 22%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 25. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 25 November 2021.
All research outputs
of 22,712,476 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 12,313 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 196,782 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 270 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 22,712,476 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 94th percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 12,313 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 30.3. This one has done well, scoring higher than 75% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 196,782 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 94% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 270 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 75% of its contemporaries.