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    Melanoma treatment: Surgery is not obsolete

    Surgery is not a treatment modality that is outdated in the management of advanced melanoma, despite the existence of very effective novel treatments, according to Vernon K. Sondak, M.D., chair, Department of Cutaneous Oncology, Moffitt Cancer Center, in Tampa, Fla.

    Speaking about the role of surgery in the era of immunotherapy at the 10th annual Canadian melanoma conference, Dr. Sondak noted that surgery remains a highly effective therapy for metastatic melanoma and it is often an element in the overall treatment for patients with advanced melanoma.

    READ: Melanoma risk significant among pregnant women

    "Surgery is not obsolete," he says. "We have to figure out how to use surgery as a component in this new and rapidly evolving world (of metastatic melanoma management)."

    Unfortunately, even with more options for treatment, many patients will not survive metastatic melanoma, Dr. Sondak stresses.

    "There has been a revolution in the management of (metastatic) melanoma," he says. "The new drugs, however, are not curing everyone who gets treated. Despite all the advances (in systemic treatments), the majority of patients will end up dying of their metastatic melanoma. A cure in a majority of patients is still elusive."

    NEXT: Surgery can be highly effective

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