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Melanoma Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI] - Treatment Options by Stage

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Treatment of stage III melanoma that cannot be removed by surgery may include the following:

  • Targeted therapy with ipilimumab or vemurafenib.
  • Regional chemotherapy (hyperthermic isolated limb perfusion). Some patients may also have biologic therapy with tumor necrosis factor.

Treatments that are being studied in clinical trials for stage III melanoma include the following:

  • A clinical trial of new kinds of treatments to be used after surgery.
  • A clinical trial of treatment with injections into the tumor, such as oncolytic virus therapy.
  • A clinical trial of systemic chemotherapy.

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with stage III melanoma. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

Stage IV and Recurrent Melanoma

Treatment of stage IV and recurrent melanoma may include the following:

  • Targeted therapy with ipilimumab or vemurafenib.
  • Biologic therapy with interleukin-2 (IL-2).
  • Chemotherapy.
  • Palliative therapy to relieve symptoms and improve the quality of life. This may include:
    • Surgery to remove lymph nodes or tumors in the lung, gastrointestinal (GI) tract, bone, or brain.
    • Radiation therapy to the brain, spinal cord, or bone.
  • A clinical trial of a new therapy or combination of therapies.

Treatments that are being studied in clinical trials for stage IV and recurrent melanoma include the following:

  • A clinical trial of different biologic therapy agents.
  • A clinical trial of targeted therapy with other signal transduction inhibitors.
  • A clinical trial of angiogenesis inhibitors.
  • A clinical trial of treatment with injections into the tumor, such as oncolytic virus therapy.
  • A clinical trial of surgery to remove all known cancer.

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with stage IV melanoma and recurrent melanoma. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

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WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: February 25, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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