How is melanoma treated?
The skin cancer specialists at the Multidisciplinary Skin Cancer Clinic at Miami Cancer Institute are international experts who offer the most advanced therapies available to treat your specific kind of cancer.
Immediately after diagnosis, our specialty teams provide additional tests to determine if the melanoma has affected other areas of the body.
Every melanoma patient’s disease is unique, with different cells moving, changing or multiplying based on the individual’s genetic makeup. Our specialists and subspecialists locate the tumor cells and determine their genetic makeup, also factoring in your age, overall health, family history, medical history, and stage of your cancer or how far it has progressed. This helps plan treatment recommendations, usually made on the same day, so you can begin to receive the best personalized treatment therapies as soon as possible. Available treatments include:
Every patient’s cancer is unique, so your specialists at Miami Cancer Institute will discuss what surgical option might be best for you.
As the only cancer center in the world to offer the latest radiation therapy technologies in one location, Miami Cancer Institute is also home to South Florida’s first proton therapy center. Proton therapy delivers less radiation dosage to normal tissues near the tumor, reducing treatment side effects. It also enables our experts to safely give a higher treatment dose to the tumor, further improving the ability to destroy tumor cells.
Chemotherapy drugs destroy cancer cells and control their growth. Chemotherapy can be combined with other treatments to shrink tumors before surgery or radiation, or to ensure all cancer cells have been eliminated following other treatment therapies.
Our interventional oncologists may also use minimally invasive therapies to treat melanoma. One common procedure is tumor ablation, which uses needle-like probes to deliver heat or cold gas to burn or freeze tumors. If you receive this treatment, we will usually discharge you the same day.
If your melanoma has spread to your liver, Miami Cancer Institute is one of only a few cancers centers across the country offering Irreversible Electroporation (IRE) therapy, or NanoKnife. Our physicians have performed more than 700 NanoKnife procedures to treat cancers in various locations within the body.
We also offer Yttrium-90 radioembolization and chemoembolization, which deliver high-dose radiation or chemotherapy directly to the liver in patients who have disease spread to the liver. These procedures can be effective in killing and controlling the cancer.
Our specialists use drugs or other select substances to identify and attack specific types of cancer cells, blocking their growth and spread. The goal of targeted therapy is to interfere with genes or proteins involved in tumor growth, while avoiding damage to healthy cells.
Targeted therapy is the foundation of precision medicine, which uses information about a person’s genes or a tumor’s DNA profile to develop innovative, tailored treatment options.
Treatment can be delivered orally, intravenously or by another mode – specific to you and your cancer type. Targeted therapy may also be combined with surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Your Miami Cancer Institute cancer specialist may use certain drugs to assist your immune system’s ability to identify and attack specific types of cancer cells, blocking their growth and spread.
Immunotherapy is delivered intravenously and is usually well tolerated. It may also be combined with surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Clinical trials offer South Florida patients and our communities’ access to leading-edge, innovative treatments that often result in new therapies not available elsewhere and can also often mean excellent outcomes for patients.
A multidisciplinary team of cancer experts including surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, plastic reconstructive surgeons, pathologists, radiologists, genetic counselors, medical geneticists, social workers, patient navigators and clinical trials staff meet weekly to discuss select complex cases and determine the best course of care. Hematologic oncology experts are also available to discuss complex cases.
Miami Cancer Institute can provide access to clinical trials not widely available elsewhere. Clinical trials find new ways to treat and diagnose cancer and are ongoing. If an appropriate trial is available, we will talk to you about the benefits and risks.
Patient Support Services
Taking care of the whole patient is an important component of providing personalized cancer care. Integrated into the fabric of the Miami Cancer Institute, the Cancer Patient Support Center addresses the psychological, physical, social and spiritual needs of our patients during cancer treatment and beyond.