What is the role of radiation therapy in the treatment of oral malignant melanoma?

Updated: Jan 31, 2020
  • Author: Elizabeth Ann Bilodeau, DMD, MD, MSEd; Chief Editor: Jeff Burgess, DDS, MSD  more...
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Experience with oral malignant melanoma is largely derived from single cases. Anecdotal reports describe success with IFN-alfa or hyperfractionated radiation therapy. Many cancer centers follow surgical excision with a course of IL-2 as adjunctive therapy to prevent or limit recurrence. Peginterferon alfa-2b (Sylatron) has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for melanoma with microscopic or gross nodal involvement within 84 days of definitive surgical resection including complete lymphadenectomy.

Because of the rarity of the lesions, assembling a cohort study group to evaluate the different therapeutic regimens is difficult. The hope is that future research will incorporate standardized multimodal therapy, such as those used in the treatment of cutaneous melanoma.

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