Annelise Wilhite, MD, explains what current treatment options look like for patients with vulvar/vaginal melanoma.
Annelise Wilhite, MD, gynecologic oncology fellow at the University of South Alabama Health explains what current treatment options look like for patients with vulvar/vaginal melanoma.
Treatment options mimic those of cutaneous melanoma due to the rarity of the disease and the lack of specific therapy guidelines for vulvar/vaginal melanoma. Since few patients develop this disease, Wilhite explains that it is difficult to have new clinical trials as the same individuals are always involved.
Finding treatments that work is the main obstacle in this patient population, and further understanding the differences between those 2 diseases is crucial for future developments.
In addition to treatments similar to that of cutaneous melanoma, hematologists who specialize in melanoma are contacted to provide their feedback on a patient’s individual case, and tumors are sent out for molecular profiling.
0:08 | The treatment involves surgical resection, and then for metastatic or unresectable disease or locally advanced disease. Typically, chemotherapy or immuno oncology therapy is recommended. As of now, the frontline agents for cutaneous melanoma are PD-1 inhibitors CTLA-4 inhibitors and a combination of BRAF and MEK inhibitors. Full of rational melanoma, the treatment typically involves a multidisciplinary approach. We will often follow the cutaneous melanoma guidelines.