Melanoma medical therapy

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Serge Korjian M.D.; Yazan Daaboul, M.D.

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Chemotherapy is indicated for high risk melanomas (stages IIB-IV) as adjuvant therapy and for metastatic disease as first-line therapy. Several single agent and combination regimens have been studied, all with modest impact on survival. All current guidelines still recommend enrollment in clinical trials over current available regimens for patients with metastatic disease. Interferon therapy is the only regimen recommended for adjuvant therapy.

Medical Therapy

  • Surgery is the predominant therapy for melanoma.a

Chemotherapy regimens

Adjuvant therapy[1]

  1. Interferon alfa-2a (Roferon-A)
  2. Interferon alfa-2b (Intron-A)
  3. Peginterferon alfa-2b (Sylatron)

Metastatic or unresectable melanoma[1]
Either a single agent chemotherapy OR a combination chemotherapy is recommended for metastatic or unresectable melanoma.

  • Single Agent Chemotherapy
  1. Dabrafenib (Tafinlar)
  2. Dacarbazine (DTIC)
  3. Docetaxel (Taxotere)
  4. Interleukin-2 (high dose or maintenance biotherapy)
  5. Imatinib (Gleevec)
  6. Ipilimumab (Yervoy)
  7. Nivolumab (Opdivo)
  8. Paclitaxel (Taxol)
  9. Pembrolizumab (Keytruda)
  10. Temozolomide (Temodar)
  11. Trametinib (Mekinist)
  12. Vemurafenib (Zelboraf)
  • Combination Chemotherapy
  1. Paclitaxel nanoparticle albumin-bound + Bevacizumab + Carboplatin (ABC)
  2. Carboplatin + Paclitaxel
  3. Carboplatin + Paclitaxel + nanoparticle albumin-bound
  4. Carboplatin + Paclitaxel +, Sorafenib
  5. Cisplatin + Dacarbazine ± Carmustine
  6. Cisplatin + Dacarbazine + IL-2 + IFN alfa-2b ± Carmustine
  7. Cisplatin + Paclitaxel + Dacarbazine
  8. Cisplatin + Vinblastine + Dacarbazine
  9. Cisplatin + Vinblastine + Dacarbazine + IL-2 + IFN alfa-2b (sequential biochemotherapy)
  10. Temozolomide + Bevacizumab
  11. Dabrafenib + Trametinib
  12. Ipilimumab + Dacarbazine
  13. Ipilimumab + Nivolumab
  14. Binimetinib + Encorafenib


  1. 1.0 1.1 Peter Yang and Jeremy Warner. Melanoma. Accessed on August 21, 2015.