Treatment for metastatic melanoma has changed. Targeted drugs and immunotherapy have been shown to be more effective than chemotherapy. So with many more choices, there is no standard treatment. And treatment will vary based on the patient’s condition and whether or not there is recurrent disease.
Research has found that immunotherapy drugs like Keytruda and Opdivo helped some people live longer. Combining immunotherapy drugs Yervoy and Opdivo has also extended survival. And targeted drugs which shrink or slow the tumor, so called BRAF inhibitors Zelboraf and Tafinlar can be used in some patients.
“Every patient is different and every situation is different,” says Dr. Anna Pavlick, Professor of Medicine and Dermatology at NYU Perlmutter Cancer Center. She adds that “there is no cookie cutter recipe,” when it comes to treating metastatic melanoma.
There have been many developments in recent years when it comes to treating melanoma, but there is no one-size-fits-all approach to this disease. Doctors have a handful of tools to choose from, and many factors will go into determining your treatment.
Immunotherapy for melanoma does often work well–but the side effects do need to be considered.
Immunotherapy Helps Your Body Help Itself
Immunotherapy for Melanoma Can Work, but Side Effects are a Risk
Side Effects from Immunotherapy Can be Managed
Immunotherapy Needs to be Tailored
A Melanoma Vaccine for Metastatic Patients
Radiation is Effective for Certain Metastatic Melanoma Patients