NCCN Guidelines for Patients® | Melanoma - page 40

NCCN Guidelines for Patients
®
Melanoma, Version 1.2014
38
4
Overview melanoma treatments Treatment with drugs
cells for making new cells and controlling how cells
behave. An abnormal change in these instructions—
called a gene mutation—can cause cells to grow and
divide out of control. Thus, some targeted therapy
drugs target a specific gene that is associated with
cancer.
Chart 4
lists the targeted therapy drugs used
for melanoma.
In less than five years, the FDA (U.S.
F
ood and
D
rug
A
dministration) has approved 3 new targeted
therapies for melanoma: vemurafenib, dabrafenib,
and trametinib. All three drugs target tumors that have
a damaged
BRAF
gene, so they will only help if you
have this type of melanoma. Vemurafenib was the
first to be approved, in 2011. Then, dabrafenib and
trametinib were each approved in 2013. These drugs
are given as a pill that is swallowed.
Imatinib (Gleevec) is a targeted therapy drug that
may be used for certain melanoma tumors. It targets
tumors that have a damaged
c-kit
gene. Imatinib is
also given as a pill that is swallowed. Cancer tissue
may be removed from your body to be tested for
specific gene mutations before you begin treatment
with a targeted therapy drug.
Vaccine therapy
This type of treatment is being tested in clinical trials
for melanoma. A clinical trial is a type of research
that studies the safety and effectiveness of a test or
treatment. Vaccine therapy for melanoma is similar
to vaccines used to prevent other diseases, such as
polio, measles, and mumps. These vaccines have a
weak or dead virus that can’t cause disease but that
activates the immune system. Since it is unknown
how well vaccine therapies work for melanoma, they
are only recommended as part of a clinical trial.
(Read page 41 for more details on clinical trials.)
Chart 4. Targeted therapy drugs for melanoma
Generic name
Brand name
(sold as)
Route given
Systemic therapy
Dabrafenib
Tafinlar
Pill that is swallowed
Imatinib
Gleevec
Pill that is swallowed
Trametinib
Mekinist
Pill that is swallowed
Vemurafenib
Zelboraf
Pill that is swallowed
1...,30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37,38,39 41,42,43,44,45,46,47,48,49,50,...108
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