Melanoma

Research

Many patients at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center receive promising therapies by taking part in clinical trials. These research studies are done by physician-scientists from Fred Hutch and UW Medicine. They test new treatments or new ways to use current treatments.

Every advance in cancer treatment in recent years has come out of clinical trials. We offer more active clinical trials than anywhere else, which means more treatment options for patients like you.

Clinical trials

Melanoma treatment has advanced dramatically in the past decade, allowing more patients to live longer, free of any signs or symptoms of the disease. Still, today’s options do not work as well as we want for every person, and we are actively pursuing more effective therapies.

For some people, taking part in a clinical study may be the best treatment choice. Access to clinical studies by researchers at Fred Hutch and UW Medicine is often the main reason many patients come to us for care. We have a wide variety of clinical studies for melanoma, including studies of vaccines, immune cell treatments and other immunotherapies

Our doctors are working toward being able to stage and characterize melanoma down to the molecular level. Defining the genetic changes that cause different types of melanoma will help us identify patients whose disease may respond better to more customized regimens.

Clinical trial A type of research study that tests how well new medical approaches work in people. These studies test new methods of screening, prevention, diagnosis or treatment of a disease. Clinical trial A type of research study that tests how well new medical approaches work in people. These studies test new methods of screening, prevention, diagnosis or treatment of a disease. Immunotherapy A type of therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection and other diseases. A therapy that uses substances to stimulate or suppress the immune system to help the body fight cancer, infection and other diseases. Some immunotherapies only target certain cells of the immune system. Others affect the immune system in a general way. Types of immunotherapy include cytokines, vaccines, bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) and some monoclonal antibodies. Melanoma Cancer that begins in the melanocytes (cells that make the pigment melanin). It may begin in a mole (skin melanoma), but it can also begin in other pigmented tissues, such as the eye or the intestines. Sign In medicine, a sign is something found during a physical exam or from a laboratory test that shows that a person may have a condition or disease. In medicine, a sign is something found during a physical exam or from a laboratory test that shows that a person may have a condition or disease. Some examples of signs are fever, swelling, skin rash, high blood pressure and high blood glucose. Stage The extent of a cancer in the body. Staging is usually based on the size of the tumor, whether lymph nodes contain cancer and whether the cancer has spread from the original site to other parts of the body. Symptom A physical or mental problem that a person experiences that may indicate a disease or condition. Symptoms cannot be seen and do not show up on medical tests. A physical or mental problem that a person experiences that may indicate a disease or condition. Symptoms cannot be seen and do not show up on medical tests. Some examples of symptoms are headache, fatigue, nausea and pain.