New Approach Transforms Treatment for This Brain Cancer

Skin cancer sometimes spreads to attack the brain, leaving patients with an expected survival of four to five months. Moffitt researchers are working to change that.

The usual treatments are surgery, whole brain radiation, focused radiation, and sometimes chemotherapy. 

But there’s evidence that immune and targeted therapies would work for melanoma patients with brain cancer. That’s because therapies that target specific proteins have changed the care for melanoma patients without brain cancer. And Moffitt researchers have shown that an immunotherapy agent targeting a protein combined with radiation is effective for melanoma patients with brain cancer.

Moffitt researchers found that immune and targeted therapies controlled tumor growth better than standard chemotherapy. Patients getting immune and targeted therapies also had better survival rates. “Although future randomized studies will be necessary,” says Kamran A. Ahmed, M.D., “these results are encouraging.”

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