TARGETED AND IMMUNOTHERAPY TREATMENTS
There are several treatments for skin cancer, including targeted therapy and immunotherapy. A patient’s melanoma diagnosis, age, location, and general health are some of the factors that should be taken into account when considering treatment options.
To determine if targeted therapy is an option for a patient, their tumor must be tested for a marker called BRAF. If the BRAF test shows that the tumor has the BRAF mutation, they are eligible for targeted therapy. But if the tumor does not have the BRAF mutation, they are not eligible for targeted therapy. About half of all melanoma patients have a mutated form of code for the BRAF protein in their tumors. This is called having a BRAF mutation.
The second option is immunotherapy. Immunotherapy uses medications that are designed to “awaken” the body’s own immune system to help fight any remaining cancer cells and use the human body’s own immune system to fight cancer. It may be administered to patients intravenously in the chemotherapy unit of the hospital, but it is not the same as chemotherapy. A patient is eligible for immunotherapy regardless of a tumor’s BRAF status.