- Diagnosis and Treatment
– Confirmatory diagnosis of malignant melanoma can be made
only after biopsy of the suspicious area of the skin and
subsequent histological examination of the biopsy specimen.
0 – Usually a minor surgery is
performed to remove the tumor and some of the surrounding
I – Surgical removal of the
tumor along with the removal of surrounding tissue (about 2 cm)
.To cover the wound, the patient may have skin grafting.
II or Stage III – In these
stages surgical removal of the tumor is performed along with
wide excision (around 3 cm) of surrounding tissue. Skin grafting
may be done to cover the wound. Nearby lymph nodes might be
- People with Stage IV melanoma receive palliative care. Aim of
palliative therapy is to improve the quality of life and prolong
the duration of survival for the patient. The patient may have
one of the following:
to remove lymph nodes that contain cancer cells or to remove
tumors that have spread to other areas of the body.
chemotherapy composed of drugs like tamoxifen, cisplatin,
using agents like interleuken-2 (IL-2) and interferon
therapy to treat metastasis
developments in treatment of Melanoma –
2003, scientists (Rosenberg et al) reported that by
inhibiting a molecule known as cytotoxic T
lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 (CTLA-4), using an antibody
that blocks the activity of this key immunoregulatory
molecule caused tumor shrinkage in patients with metastatic
melanoma when administered along with a cancer vaccine.
interferon alfa-2b (Intron-A) significantly prolongs the
time before melanoma recurs compared to low-dose interferon
or no therapy, according to the findings of a large,
randomized clinical trial of this biologic drug.