Medications for Melanoma
by Editorial Staff and Contributors
Removing the tumor with surgery is the main treatment for melanoma. Medication may be used :
Medication may be used as a part of immunotherapy or targeted therapy.
Immunotherapy uses medication to boost the effects of the body's immune system. It makes it easier to find and kill cancer cells. This therapy may also be called biological response modifier therapy. These medications are given straight into the blood through a tube (IV) or injected under the skin.
Types of immunotherapy medications include:
Side effects include chills, fever, aches, depression, skin reactions, and fatigue.
BRAF is a mutation found in the genes. It is found in half of melanomas. This gene makes proteins that speed up the growth of cancer cells. Targeted therapy seek out the cells with BRAF and destroys them.
Targeted therapy medications include:
These medications do not offer a cure for advanced melanoma. However, they can prolong life. The most common side effects are joint pain, fatigue, hair loss, rash, itching, sensitivity to the sun, and nausea.
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Last reviewed March 2018 by Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP
Last Updated: 4/3/2018
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