Share

    


In This Section

Melanoma

Although melanoma is far less common skin cancer than squamous or basal cell carcinoma, it is much more likely to spread to other parts of the body. Only 1 percent of skin cancers are melanomas; however, melanoma is responsible for the vast majority of skin cancer deaths.1
 
For 2018, the American Cancer Society estimates that the U.S. will see:1

  • About 91,270 new melanomas diagnosed (approximately 55,150 in men and 36,120 in women).
  • About 9,320 people die of melanoma (approximately 5,990 men and 3,330 women).

As with squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma, high exposure to ultraviolet radiation is a leading risk factor for melanoma. Additional risk factors for melanoma include a personal or family history of melanoma; atypical, large, numerous moles (>50); sun sensitivity; environmental exposures; and immunosuppression.1,2

Advances in immunotherapy and targeted therapies are offering new treatment options for advanced melanoma. Since 2011, four new immunotherapy agents have received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for mono- and/or combination therapy in patients with melanoma, including a cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated protein 4 (CTLA-4) checkpoint inhibitor (intravenous ipilimumab), programmed cell death protein-1 (PD-1) checkpoint inhibitors (intravenous pembrolizumab and nivolumab), and an oncolytic virus therapy (intralesional talimogene laherparepvec [T-VEC]).3

Sources:
1 American Cancer Society. Key Statistics for Skin Cancer.
2. PDQ® Adult Treatment Editorial Board. PDQ Melanoma Treatment. 2017. Last accessed January 26, 2018.
3. National Cancer Institute. Drugs approved for melanoma. 2018. Last accessed January 26, 2018.

From Oncology Issues

  •  Making the Case for an HIV Oncology Clinic
    By Marco A. Ruiz, MD
    Though the incidence of AIDS-defining cancers (Kaposi’s sarcoma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and invasive cervical carcinoma) has decreased with the use of antiretroviral therapy, numerous studies suggest that non-AIDS-defining cancers (cancers not previously associated with HIV and AIDS) appear to be increasing in incidence.
  •  Highlights from ASCO 2018
    By Cary A. Presant, MD, FACP, FASCO
    ASCO 2018 offered a wealth of new data that will continue to transform clinical practice and cancer program development. Most important, implementation of the scientifi c advances we learned at ASCO 2018 will improve the length and quality of life of our cancer patients.
  •  Turning on the Light Switch
    By Ann McGreal, RN
    Discover how 2017 ACCC Innovator Award winner Advocate Medical Group developed and implemented an immunotherapy program, lessons learned, and tools created to educate staff and patients.
  •  Patient-Specific Therapeutic Vaccines for Metastatic Melanoma
    Robert O. Dillman, MD
    The only standard treatments for metastatic melanoma that have been associated with long-term overall survival (OS) are surgical resection, and immunotherapies that include the immune-stimulating cytokine interleukin-2 (IL2), the anticytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4) monoclonal antibody ipilimumab, and the anti-programmed death 1 (PD1) monoclonal antibodies nivolumab and pembrolizumab (aka lambrolizumab).
  •  Stop Cancer Before It Starts!
    Melanie Gonzales, MSPH, MCHES, and Vicky Jekich, CMP
    While young people across the U.S. are able to access more information through technology with greater speed, they may be misinformed or lack understanding of how unhealthy behaviors can put their health at risk.
  •  Best of ASCO 2017
    Cary A. Presant, MD, FACP, FASCO
    ASCO 2017 was filled with new information and long lines as 39,000 oncologists worldwide came together to hear the latest advances in cancer care.
  •  Views: Why Skinny On Skin?
    Robin Travers, MD
    Estheticians and other salon professionals are in a unique position to take note of unusual growths on their client’s skin and initiate an important conversation that may ultimately save a patient’s life.