Major pharmaceutical companies continually research and develop new melanoma/skin cancer drugs and treatments, which must be shown to be safe and effective before doctors can prescribe them to patients. Through clinical trials, researchers test the effects of new medications on a group of volunteers with melanoma/skin cancer. Following a strict protocol and using carefully controlled conditions, researchers evaluate the investigational drugs under development and measure the ability of the new drug to treat the cancer, the safety of the new drug, and any possible side effects.
Some patients with melanoma/skin cancer are reluctant to take part in clinical trials for fear of getting no treatment at all. This is simply not true. Patients with melanoma/skin cancer who participate in cancer clinical trials receive the most effective therapy available -- or they may receive treatments that are being evaluated for future use. These melanoma/skin cancer drugs may be even more effective than the current treatment.
All potentially cancerous skin growths must be biopsied to confirm a cancer diagnosis. Depending on the suspected type of skin cancer, the biopsy techniques vary slightly but crucially.
Any potential melanoma requires a surgical biopsy, in which the entire growth is removed with a scalpel if possible. A pathologist then studies the sample under a microscope to determine whether cancer cells are present.
If melanoma is diagnosed, other tests may be ordered to assess the degree of cancer spread (metastasis)...
This web site, developed by the nonprofit Coalition of Cancer Cooperative Groups, is an unbiased cancer clinical trial matching and navigation service enabling patients to search for cancer trials based on disease and location.