Melanoma is a cancer that arises from the skin. It usually presents as a brown skin growth that either grows, changes color or shape, or bleeds. The standard treatment for localized melanoma is aggressive surgery with the removal of a sentinel node (a nearby lymph node) for a biopsy. For those at high risk for developing metastatic melanoma, interferon therapy after surgery has been shown to improve cure rates and survival statistics. Now, there is a surgery alternative for metastatic melanoma
Metastatic melanoma is melanoma that has spread from the primary site on the skin to a distant organ. Chemotherapy has not proven to be very effective for metastatic melanoma, and the various immunotherapy protocols being investigated are showing minimal success. At times, surgery is used to remove metastatic deposits, but this can be debilitating.
Stereotactic body radiosurgery is a new treatment proving to be effective in the treatment of metastatic melanoma. In fact, melanoma is one of the more sensitive cancers to radiosurgery. The treatment is completely non-invasive and is given in one to three (1-3) outpatient treatments.
An ideal candidate for treatment is a patient with 1-3 (5 if all small) tumor deposits in the lung or liver, or a combination of tumor deposits in both the lung and liver.
Who is a Candidate for Stereotactic Body Radiosurgery to Treat Metastatic Melanomas?