Advanced Melanoma: Disease Background Interview with Michael Postow, MD
There are various types of skin cancer. However, melanoma tends to be the most aggressive form. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with melanoma, it is important to step back and get educated about the disease before making decisions on treatment.
Many new treatments for melanoma are coming down the pipeline. Having an understanding of how the disease presents, and knowing the options for treatment and management, can improve a patientís outcomes and quality of life.
To help guide patients through a diagnosis and provide them with knowledge to work with their cancer care teams, Dr. Philippa Cheetham interviews Dr. Michael Postow, a medical oncologist from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, on key considerations surrounding melanoma.
Host: Philippa Cheetham, MD
Doctor: Michael A. Postow, MD, medical oncologist, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY
▼ Episode 1 Distinguishing Melanoma From Other Skin Cancers
Dr. Michael Postow highlights the main types of skin cancers, discusses the incidence of melanoma, and its typical presentation, and briefly explains the role of surgery to remove cancerous lesions on the skin.
Dr. Michael Postow discusses the spread of melanoma to other areas of a patient’s body, explains how a sentinel lymph node biopsy works, and shares considerations of oncologists for proceeding forward when a pathology reports reveals advanced disease.
► Episode 3 Understanding Adjuvant Therapy in Melanoma
Dr. Michael Postow defines adjuvant therapy and discusses considerations for its use in treating patients with advanced disease. He further remarks on the significance of discussing various types of treatments with a healthcare professional prior to beginning therapy.
In this segment, Dr. Michael Postow provides an overview of both immunotherapy and targeted therapy as treatment options for patients with advanced disease, and explains how each differs in its approach to fight cancer.
► Episode 5 Considerations Prior to Start of Therapy
Dr. Michael Postow discusses how he works with patients through the most common concerns of both the patient and physician prior to beginning treatment on immunotherapy or targeted therapy, and provides advice to those currently developing a treatment plan with their oncologist.
Following a brief discussion on the considerations of both the oncologist and the patient prior to beginning treatment, Dr. Postow highlights additional concerns of patients diagnosed with a more aggressive form of melanoma and suggests options for additional support and care.
► Episode 7 Additional Approaches in Advanced Melanoma
Dr. Michael Postow highlights additional approaches for treating advanced melanoma, such as with combination therapy or T-VEC (talimogene laherparepvec). Because it is difficult to convey so much information on treatment options to a patient following a diagnosis, he reminds patients to become educated on their options prior to an appointment and work closely with their oncologists to establish treatment plans most appropriate to their own needs.