Stage IV Melanoma Mastic NY
Stage IV Melanoma
Patients with stage IV, or metastatic, melanoma have cancer that has spread from its site of origin to distant lymph nodes and/or distant sites. Additional prognostic factors for stage IV melanoma include site of distant metastases and elevated blood enzyme LDH levels. Distant lymph node metastases and lung metastases have a better prognosis than other distant metastases, such as the brain or liver.
A variety of factors ultimately influence a patient’s decision to receive treatment of cancer. The purpose of receiving cancer treatment may be to improve symptoms through local control of the cancer, increase a patient’s chance of cure, or prolong a patient’s survival. The potential benefits of receiving cancer treatment must be carefully balanced with the potential risks of receiving cancer treatment.
The following is a general overview of the treatment of stage IV melanoma. Circumstances unique to your situation and prognostic factors of your cancer may ultimately influence how these general treatment principles are applied. The information on this Web site is intended to help educate you about your treatment options and to facilitate a mutual or shared decision-making process with your treating cancer physician.
Most new treatments are developed in clinical trials. Clinical trials are studies that evaluate the effectiveness of new drugs or treatment strategies. The development of more effective cancer treatments requires that new and innovative therapies be evaluated with cancer patients. Participation in a clinical trial may offer access to better treatments and advance the existing knowledge about treatment of this cancer. Clinical trials are available for most stages of cancer. Patients who are interested in participating in a clinical trial should discuss the risks and benefits of clinical trials with their physician. To ensure that you are receiving the optimal treatment of your cancer, it is important to stay informed and follow the cancer news in order to learn about new treatments and the results of clinical trials.
Patients with stage IV melanoma cannot be cured with surgery alone and appear to benefit modestly with currently approved systemic therapies. There are many choices of therapy for patients with stage IV melanoma; however, the majority of patients still experience cancer progression. Clinical responses are observed in 5-10% of patients with stage IV melanoma, irrespective of the mode of treatment. These responses and the fact that some are long lasting, have generated optimism about the treatment of stage IV melanoma.
Treatment strategies that are part of both curative and palliative approaches include single agent and combination chemotherapy; biological therapy with interferons; interleukins; vaccines; combination therapy; external beam radiation; isolated limb perfusion techniques and surgery. Chemotherapy combined with biologic agents offers the promise of higher response rates and...