Dr. Turaga on Surgery Versus Immunotherapy in Melanoma

Kiran K. Turaga, MD

Kiran K. Turaga, MD, associate professor of surgery, vice chief, section of general surgery and surgical oncology, director of the Surgical GI Cancer Program and the Regional Therapeutics Program at The University of Chicago Medicine, discusses whether patients vie for immunotherapy versus surgery as treatment for their melanoma.

For primary melanomas or nonmetastatic disease, surgery still remains the standard of care, Turaga explains, adding there is little change seen. However, if there are clinical trials available for patients with metastatic melanoma, then that is the optimal choice, he says, whether it’s an immunotherapy, anti-BRAF agent, or surgical perfusional approach.

However, for patients with in-transit disease, there are issues with treatment choices. While there are therapies such as isolated limb infusions and perfusions, which are fairly low morbidity, they can be alternated for immunotherapies. These agents, he adds, have not been studied as much for in-transit disease.

Moreover, Turaga says that community oncologists should ensure that patients with melanoma receive all of their available, and appropriate, options.
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