Melanoma treatment depends largely on the clinical stage of the disease. The preferred treatment is surgical resection of the disease. The surgical margins depend on the depth of the disease. Sentinel lymph node biopsy is generally advised for all lesions greater than 1 mm depth. Complete lymphadenopathy of surrounding lymph nodes is recommended in the presence of nodal disease. There are some controversies surrounding the timing and benefit of complete lymphadenopathy in clinically occult disease. There is evidence to support the role of adjuvant therapies in the form of immunotherapy in regionally advanced disease, and there has been a significant improvement in medical therapies for advanced melanoma. BRAF inhibitors have become mainstay treatment for patients with a BRAF mutation. Immunotherapy is another cornerstone of therapy for advanced melanoma. There is ongoing research to define the optimal therapeutic regimen. Future guidelines will likely incorporate this recent research. Chemotherapy has been relegated to second-line therapy in melanoma.
Part of the book: Human Skin Cancers