For early-stage melanoma, treatment most commonly consists of surgery. The Cutaneous Oncology Program at Moffitt Cancer Center offers the most current and effective procedures, including sentinel lymph node biopsies and lymphatic mapping. A primary excisional biopsy is usually performed to remove the growth as well as some surrounding tissue, and our expert surgeons ensure that plastic surgery principles are followed to achieve the best possible results.
Some cases, particularly those involving later-stage melanomas, may require further treatment. Other forms of melanoma treatment may include:
- Radiation therapy – High-energy rays are used to target and kill cancer cells, usually through external beam radiation, delivered by a machine that focuses the rays on a patient’s body.
- Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy is not often used for melanoma, but it may be recommended for cancer that has metastasized, or spread, to other areas of the body.
- Immunotherapy – Medicines, including those used in clinical trials, are administered to encourage a patient’s immune system to more effectively recognize and kill cancer cells. This treatment might be suggested for patients with advanced melanoma that has metastasized.
- Limb infusion and perfusion – The region affected by the melanoma is isolated, and a heated dose of chemotherapy is delivered directly to the area, sparing the rest of the body from exposure.
Treatment for melanoma is approached in a unique way at Moffitt in that many cases are reviewed by a multispecialty team. We recommend an individualized treatment plan that involves personalized solutions, which may include options such as clinical trials involving therapies that are not yet available to the general public, minimally invasive or robotic-assisted surgical procedures and other advanced treatments.