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What drugs are used in immunotherapy for metastatic melanoma?

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These drugs include:

  • Interferon-alpha and interleukin-2: These older drugs can help some people live longer.
  • Ipilimumab (Yervoy): There are two uses for this drug. It can be given to individuals who have had surgery to remove melanoma in order to prevent the melanoma from coming back. It can also be used for late-stage melanoma that cannot be removed by surgery. Ipilimumab is often used in combination with a PD-1 inhibitor.
  • Nivolumab (Opdivo) and pembrolizumab (Keytruda) work by inhibiting the PD-1 protein on cells, which blocks the body’s immune system from attacking melanoma tumors. Combination therapy with ipilimumab and either nivolumab or pembrolizumab has been shown to increase overall survival compared to treating with ipilimumab alone.

From: Metastatic Melanoma WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: "Melanoma Skin Cancer Overview," "Treatment of melanoma sin cancer by stage,” "Targeted therapy for melanoma skin cancer."

Cancer Research UK: "Living with Advanced Melanoma."

FDA: "FDA approves Yervoy to reduce the risk of melanoma returning after surgery," "FDA approves Cotellic as part of combination treatment for advanced melanoma."

Macmillan Cancer Support: "Symptoms of advanced melanoma."

National Cancer Institute: "What You Need to Know About Melanoma and Other Skin Cancers."

Skin Cancer Foundation: "Melanoma."

UCSF Medical Center: "Melanoma."

Medscape: “Some Melanoma Patients Living for up to 10 Years After Ipilimumab.”

UpToDate: "Melanoma treatment; advanced or metastatic melanoma (Beyond the Basics)."

American Cancer Society. 

News release, FDA.

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on August 19, 2018

SOURCES:

American Cancer Society: "Melanoma Skin Cancer Overview," "Treatment of melanoma sin cancer by stage,” "Targeted therapy for melanoma skin cancer."

Cancer Research UK: "Living with Advanced Melanoma."

FDA: "FDA approves Yervoy to reduce the risk of melanoma returning after surgery," "FDA approves Cotellic as part of combination treatment for advanced melanoma."

Macmillan Cancer Support: "Symptoms of advanced melanoma."

National Cancer Institute: "What You Need to Know About Melanoma and Other Skin Cancers."

Skin Cancer Foundation: "Melanoma."

UCSF Medical Center: "Melanoma."

Medscape: “Some Melanoma Patients Living for up to 10 Years After Ipilimumab.”

UpToDate: "Melanoma treatment; advanced or metastatic melanoma (Beyond the Basics)."

American Cancer Society. 

News release, FDA.

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on August 19, 2018

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How can a clinical trial help with metastatic melanoma?

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