“Adjuvant treatment” represents further therapy addressed to reduce the risk of recurrence and possibly improving the survival of some patients in certain high-risk groups. Although a precise determination of the best strategy can only be made by a specialized physician, patients having lymph node involvement by melanoma and those having advanced skin lesions should expect to have a discussion regarding such treatments. Several modalities are available currently, with interferon-alpha and vaccines being the most commonly employed. An alternative strategy, used especially for lower risk lesions is to provide clinical surveillance with no active treatment. Your physician may recommend one of these treatments, or an investigational approach depending on the assessed risk of the skin lesion, the age and physical parameters of the patient, and availability of certain protocols. Although being the most extensively studied and used, interferon-alpha is not universally recognized as a standard of care for adjuvant treatment for melanoma.
Treatment for Metastatic Disease
Treatment for “metastatic disease” or disease that has spread at distance is complex and involves modalities such as biological agents (interleukin-2, interferon-alpha, antibodies against CTLA4, vaccines, etc.), chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, or integrated approaches.