"The rate of rise of melanoma is immense," Trisal said. "It is the fastest-growing cancer we see in the U.S."
While there have been some improvements in the treatment of stage I and II melanoma, Trisal added, melanoma that has spread has been more intractable.
According to the study authors, only 35 percent to 50 percent of people with stage III melanoma and 5 percent to 10 percent with stage IV disease will achieve long-term survival. And surgery, they stated, is still the only treatment that has "stable and predictable success."
The only chemotherapy that works is interferon, and that has, at best, only a 15 percent to 20 percent response rate. "That means tumor shrinkage. It's not a cure rate," Trisal noted.
( Dr. Vijay Trisal, an assistant professor of surgical oncology at City of Hope Cancer Center in Duarte, Calif).
Monday, May 16, 2005
Melanoma is still the fastest growing cancer in the U.S. and a melanoma patient today doesn't stand a better chance of surviving it than someone would have 30 years ago. That and more was announced Sunday, at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting in Orlando, Florida. Read about it at HealthCentral.