Melanoma Cancer Immunotherapy
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Immunotherapy for Melanoma Cancer
At Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), we believe that cancer treatment can be enhanced by using your body's natural means of protection (i.e., your immune system). Also referred to as biological therapy, biotherapy or biological response modifier therapy, immunotherapy either directly or indirectly uses your immune system to help fight melanoma cancer, or to reduce side effects that may be caused by some cancer treatments.
Ipilimumab (Yervoy™) – Melanoma Cancer Immunotherapy
Ipilimumab (Yervoy™) is a new form of cancer immunotherapy that was recently approved by the FDA for the treatment of metastatic melanoma. Ipilimumab is a monoclonal antibody that targets CTLA-4, a protein that helps to regulate the immune system by suppressing the activity of T cells. By blocking the action of CTLA-4, Ipilimumab acts to take the brakes off the immune system, allowing it to fight the cancer cells. This agent is used to treat melanoma that has spread or that cannot be treated by surgery.
In a clinical trial, ipilimumab helped some patients with metastatic melanoma to live longer. However, this form of immunotherapy can also lead to serious immune-related side effects in the intestines, liver, hormone-producing glands, eyes, nerves, skin and other organs, so your doctors at CTCA may discuss whether this drug is right for you. If it is, your CTCA care team will work with you to reduce or prevent these potentially serious side effects.
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