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Oncology (Williston Park). 2009 May;23(6):488-96.

Treatment of metastatic melanoma: an overview.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Medical Oncology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Seattle, Washington 98109, USA.


The 10-year survival rate for patients with metastatic melanoma is less than 10%. Although surgery and radiation therapy have a role in the treatment of metastatic disease, systemic therapy is the mainstay of treatment for most patients. Single-agent chemotherapy is well tolerated but is associated with response rates of only 5% to 20%. Combination chemotherapy and biochemotherapy may improve objective response rates but do not extend survival and are associated with greater toxicity. Immunotherapeutic approaches such as high-dose interleukin-2 are associated with durable responses in a small percentage of patients. In this article, we review the treatments for metastatic melanoma including promising investigational approaches.

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