Melanoma Cancer Targeted Drug Therapy
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Video: Targeted Drug TherapyDr. Dennis Citrin discusses targeted drug therapies.
Targeted Drug Therapy
Targeted drug therapy focuses on cancer cells and may be able to avoid harm to healthy cells. Listen to Dr. Dennis Citrin talk about this treatment.
Targeted Drug Therapy for Melanoma Cancer
In addition to chemotherapy, the team at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) uses targeted drugs to treat some types of melanoma.
Targeted drug therapy blocks the growth and spread of melanoma cancer by preventing cells from dividing or by destroying them directly. Unlike chemotherapy, which affects all cells in the body, targeted drug therapy blocks or kills cancer cells and spares healthy cells, potentially reducing side effects and improving your quality of life.
Vemurafenib (Zelboraf™) for Metastatic Melanoma
Vemurafenib (Zelboraf™) is the first targeted therapy to be approved for use in metastatic melanoma cancer. It targets a specific mutated form of a protein called BRAF, which is involved in the growth and survival of melanoma cells.
As with any therapy, vemurafenib can be associated with potentially serious side effects. One side effect reported in patients treated with this agent was the development of another form of skin cancer, cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma. This type of skin cancer rarely spreads to other parts of the body, but if you do receive treatment with vemurafenib, your doctor will ask you to watch for skin changes, such as a new wart, a sore that doesn’t heal or a change in an existing mole. You should also avoid the sun.
Your CTCA doctors may want to test your melanoma cancer for the presence of the BRAF mutation. If it is positive, they may discuss whether treatment with vemurafenib is right for you.
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