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Jade Homsi, M.D. Answers Questions On Melanoma

Jade Homsi, M.D. Answers Questions On: Melanoma

How is medical treatment for melanoma different from that of other cancers?

A lot of cancers are treated with chemotherapy. For melanoma, we use something called immunotherapy. It's a different way to target the cancer. Chemotherapy is designed to kill dividing cells in the body, and immunotherapy is designed to stimulate the immune system in a way that causes it to attack the cancer cells in the body.

Is immunotherapy easier on the patient than chemotherapy is?

Immunotherapy has its own side effects, so I wouldn't compare the two in terms of which is easier. Instead, I would say that immunotherapy is a different mechanism of action; it triggers a patient's own immune system to target and fight the melanoma.

How can we expect treatment for melanoma to improve in the near future?

Immunotherapy has already made a huge impact on the outlook for people with melanoma. People are living longer, especially people with metastatic melanoma. In the future, I think we'll have more refinements to these therapies - even better outcomes, with lessened side effects. I think that's what the future is: making the treatment safer and achieving better results and a better quality of life for each patient.