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Melanoma/Skin Cancer Health Center

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

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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:

  • Biologic therapy with ipilimumab.
  • Targeted therapy with vemurafenib or dabrafenib.
  • 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:

  • New kinds of treatments to be used after surgery.
  • Treatment with injections into the tumor, such as oncolytic virus therapy.
  • 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. Talk with your doctor about clinical trials that may be right for you. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

Stage IVand Recurrent Melanoma

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

  • Targeted therapy with vemurafenib or dabrafenib.
  • Biologic therapy with interleukin-2 (IL-2) or ipilimumab.
  • Chemotherapy.
  • Palliative therapy to relieve symptoms and improve the quality of life. This may include:

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

  • A new treatment or combination of treatments.
  • Different biologic therapy agents.
  • Targeted therapy with other signal transduction inhibitors.
  • Angiogenesis inhibitors.
  • Treatment with injections into the tumor, such as oncolytic virus therapy.
  • 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. Talk with your doctor about clinical trials that may be right for you. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: May 28, 2015
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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