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Melanoma Treatment (Patient) (cont.)

Treatment Options by Stage

A link to a list of current clinical trials is included for each treatment section. For some types or stages of cancer, there may not be any trials listed. Check with your doctor for clinical trials that are not listed here but may be right for you.

Stage 0 (Melanoma in Situ)

Treatment of stage 0 is usually surgery to remove the area of abnormal cells and a small amount of normal tissue around it.

Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with stage 0 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 I Melanoma

Treatment of stage I melanoma may include the following:

  • Surgery to remove the tumor and some of the normal tissue around it. Sometimes lymph node mapping and removal of lymph nodes is also done.
  • A clinical trial of new ways to find cancer cells in the lymph nodes.
  • A clinical trial of lymphadenectomy with or without adjuvant therapy.

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

Treatment of stage II melanoma may include the following:

  • Surgery to remove the tumor and some of the normal tissue around it.
  • Lymph node mapping and sentinel lymph node biopsy, followed by surgery to remove the tumor and some of the normal tissue around it. If cancer is found in the sentinel lymph node, a second surgery may be done to remove more nearby lymph nodes.
  • A clinical trial of new types of treatment to be used after surgery.

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.

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.

eMedicineHealth Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

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

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.

Some material in CancerNet™ is from copyrighted publications of the respective copyright claimants. Users of CancerNet™ are referred to the publication data appearing in the bibliographic citations, as well as to the copyright notices appearing in the original publication, all of which are hereby incorporated by reference.





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