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Melanoma/Skin Cancer Health Center

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Treatment Options by Stage

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    Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with stage II 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 III Melanoma

    Treatment of stage III melanoma that can be removed by surgery may include the following:

    • Surgery to remove the tumor and some of the normal tissue around it. Skin grafting may be done to cover the wound caused by surgery.
    • Surgery followed by biologic therapy with interferon if there is a high risk that the cancer will come back.

    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.
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