Melanoma chemotherapy is a systemic, medication-based treatment that can be used to target and destroy melanoma cells that have spread throughout a patient’s body. In most cases, an early-stage melanoma growth can be removed with a primary excisional biopsy. This procedure can then be followed by chemotherapy if necessary to address any cancerous cells that broke away from the lesion and traveled through the bloodstream or lymphatic system to other areas of the body.
The Cutaneous Oncology Program at Moffitt Cancer Center offers the latest and most advanced chemo options for treating regionally metastatic melanoma. One example is isolated limb perfusion infusion (ILI), a technique that can be used to confine the delivery of melanoma chemotherapy (Melphalan) to a patient’s arm or leg in order to minimize exposure to other areas of the body. Because approximately one-half of all melanomas occur in the extremities, this option can be beneficial to many patients. Another example of an advanced chemotherapy option at Moffitt is percutaneous hepatic perfusion, which is a way of isolating the liver and perfusing it with high-dose Melphalan for metastatic ocular and cutaneous melanoma to the liver.
Some commonly recommended melanoma chemotherapy agents include:
- Dacarbazine (DTIC) – Administered via intravenous infusion for the treatment of stage 4 melanoma
- Temozolomide – An oral form of dacarbazine
- Taxanes – Docetaxel and paclitaxel
- Platinum agents – Cisplatin and carboplatin
As the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center based in Florida, Moffitt is making great strides in expanding the knowledge base about melanoma causes and treatment. The renowned research team at our Melanoma Research Center of Excellence is currently evaluating other chemotherapy agents for possible use in the treatment of stage 4 melanoma. Our goal is to make the benefits of our research breakthroughs available to our patients as quickly as possible. One way we do so is through our robust portfolio of clinical trials, which provide our patients with opportunities to access promising new therapies before they are offered in other settings.
Melanoma chemotherapy is available at all Moffitt locations. If you’d like to learn more, we provide consultations with or without referrals. Call 1-888-MOFFITT or complete a new patient registration form online.