Metastatic Melanoma: Beyond the Basics

~ Mona Patel, PA-C

Medical oncology has become a rapidly evolving landscape allowing more options for targeted and immunotherapy over standard chemotherapy, which could provide prolonged survival, control symptoms from the underlying disease and allow for improved quality of life.

Metastatic melanoma can have a very poor prognosis and prior to even 5 years ago, we had limited options for effective management. Increased research and advances in the use of immunotherapy and targeted therapy for metastatic melanoma has improved survival for most patients and is the preferred therapy over any standard chemotherapy drugs.

Several different types of immunotherapy have been developed in the category of checkpoint inhibitors, specifically Opdivo, Keytruda and Yervoy that have replaced former options. All of these treatment options are offered by our practice.

Alternative options for therapy would be targeted therapy. Approximately half of metastatic melanoma patients contain a genetic mutation in the BRAF gene. Three drugs have been developed to target and inhibit this genetic mutation. They include Zelboraf, Taflinar and Mekinist. All of these options are also offered by our practice at Andrews and Patel Associates.

Our primary goal for patients remains providing additional quality of life, minimizing symptoms related to the disease process and limiting any toxicity associated with the treatment itself.

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