Targeted therapies are substances that target the differences between cancer cells and normal cells. They are sometimes called biological therapies.
There are a number of targeted therapies that may be used to treat advanced melanoma. Your doctor will let you know if there is a suitable treatment for you.
At the moment the main targeted therapies to treat advanced melanoma are:
- Ipilimumab – This triggers the body’s immune system to attack cancer cells.
- Vemurafenib – This delays the growth of advanced melanoma in patients who have a specific change in a gene called BRAF.
- Dabrafenib – This slows or stops the BRAF gene growing.
New treatments for advanced melanoma are currently being researched in clinical trials.
You may experience side effects as part of these therapies. Your doctor will discuss these with you and you should let them know if you have any concerns.
It’s advisable not to become pregnant or father a child while having targeted therapy. You should talk to your doctor or nurse if you are concerned about contraception or your fertility during treatment.