An Overview of the Treatment of Melanoma

June 4, 2013
Lynn M. Schuchter, MD

Lynn M. Schuchter, MD, Chief, Hematology Oncology, Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, gives an overview of the treatment of advanced melanoma at the 2013 ASCO Annual Meeting.

Lynn M. Schuchter, MD, Chief, Hematology Oncology, Department of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, gives an overview of the treatment of advanced melanoma at the 2013 ASCO Annual Meeting.

Physicians determine the BRAF status of every patient with advanced melanoma. Treating with BRAF targeted therapy or immunotherapy depends on the patient's status. If a patient is very sick and has a large disease burden, a physician would start with targeted therapy to achieve a fast response. If a patient is not in need of immediate treatment, immunotherapy would be considered: ipilumumab or enrollment in a clinical trial.

Clinical Pearls

It is critical to determine the BRAF mutation status of every patient with advanced melanoma and move forward from there. It is truly remarkable, Schuchter says, that chemotherapy is no longer considered in the first or second line. Data presented at this year's ASCO meeting enhances the knowledge of the impact of new immunotherapies.

  • Treatment with BRAF targeted therapy or immunotherapy depends on the status of the patient
  • Targeted therapies are used when the patient has a large disease burden
  • If patients are not in need of immediate treatment, physicians would consider treating with immunotherapy

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