GET OUR DAILY NEWSLETTER
The next video will play soon

How Immunotherapy Has Revolutionized Treatment for Melanoma

The Types of Cancer that Immunotherapy Can Help Treat  02:08
The Types of Cancer that Immunotherapy Can Help Treat
Can Immunotherapy Actually Cure Cancer?01:00
Can Immunotherapy Actually Cure Cancer?
How Immunotherapy Can Treat Lung Cancer00:44
How Immunotherapy Can Treat Lung Cancer
How Is Immunotherapy Different from Chemotherapy?02:00
How Is Immunotherapy Different from Chemotherapy?
How Immunotherapy Has Revolutionized Treatment for Melanoma00:47
How Immunotherapy Has Revolutionized Treatment for Melanoma
What Is Immunotherapy, and How Does it Treat Cancer?01:25
What Is Immunotherapy, and How Does it Treat Cancer?
Types of Immunotherapy Cancer Patients Need to Understand03:06
Types of Immunotherapy Cancer Patients Need to Understand

Immunotherapy is a groundbreaking treatment for certain types of cancer that has already saved and improved the lives of many patients and their families. This cancer treatment refers to a variety of medicine types, such as vaccines and checkpoint inhibitors, that rev up the body’s immune system to attack cancer cells more effectively. (Here’s more information about the different types of immunotherapy and what kinds of cancers they help treat.)

One type of cancer that immunotherapy has been particularly effective with is melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer. Immunotherapy has had a significant impact on the survival rate of melanoma. Patients are living longer than was possible with previous types of cancer treatment.

Doctors can treat melanoma with a variety of FDA-approved immunotherapy methods, but the most common and most successful treatment is a checkpoint inhibitor. In particular, PD-1 inhibitors have been a promising melanoma treatment by preventing the immune system’s T cells from attacking other, healthy cells in the body. PD-1 is a protein on T cells, which are the infection-fighting cells of the immune system. By blocking T cells from attacking healthy cells, the immune system is more likely to attack cancer cells instead.

Using PD-1 inhibitors to treat melanoma has successfully shrunk tumors and helped patients live longer lives—and with fewer side effects than other forms of treatment for skin cancer. Through the use of clinical trials, researchers have developed and approved checkpoint inhibitors that can treat melanoma and reduce the chances of it recurring, and the one-year survival rate for melanoma is the highest it has ever been.

Of course, the best treatment for any condition is prevention. Here are tips for preventing melanoma, according to an oncologist.

Melissa Wilson, MD, PhD

This video features Melissa Wilson, MD, PhD. Dr. Wilson is an assistant professor of medicine at NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center, focusing on melanoma. In addition to her clinical practice, Dr. Wilson pursues clinical and translational research projects focused on advancing treatment options for patients with melanoma, with a particular interest in targeted therapies.

Duration: 00:47. Last Updated On: 2017-08-10
Reviewed by: Dr. Preeti Parikh . Review date: June 28, 2017
Sign up for our daily newsletter!