How to Treat Melanoma

As one of the largest melanoma centers in the United States, the Saint John’s Cancer Institute Melanoma Center conducts landmark research to identify new or recurrent melanoma at its earliest stages, predicts and monitors the response to systemic treatments, and develops active and passive immunotherapies for surgical and nonsurgical patients.

Person getting mole checked by doctor

Clinical Trials

The current standard treatment for metastatic melanoma is rapidly evolving. In the past, chemotherapy such as dacarbazine was used, but had relatively limited effectiveness. In recent years, several new medications have been approved for melanoma treatment. These include targeted therapies (vemurafenib, dabrafenib, trametanib) and immunotherapies (ipilimumab, pembrolizumab). Other drugs are likely to be approved in the near future.

Clinical trials are often the best option for patients with metastatic melanoma. Investigators at Saint John’s Cancer Institute strive to develop the latest melanoma treatment approaches that have the greatest chance of success. Determining the right treatment for any individual requires careful consideration of both the patient’s situation and preferences as well as the opportunities for treatments available as standards or in a clinical trial. Comprehensive consideration of all skin cancer treatment options in a multidisciplinary context will enable a patient to develop a long-term treatment strategy that will give them the best opportunity for treatment success and optimal quality of life.