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Enhance Conventional Treatment of Metastatic Melanoma

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Evidence-based Integrative Therapies are More Effective Against Metastatic Melanoma Than Dacarbazine Alone

If you are reading this post then you probably already know that metastatic melanoma is an aggressive cancer with a 10 year survival rate of less than 10%. Further, the standard FDA approved chemotherapy for Melanoma called Dacarbazine when used as a single agent has a response rate of between 5%-20%.

The study linked and excerpted below does say that high-dose interleukin “benefits a small subset of patients.” In my experience, a response rate of this size is underwhelming at best, discouraging at worst.

There are dozens of evidence-based non-toxic therapies that

  • are cytotoxic to melanoma and/or
  • work synergistically with dacarbazine to enhance it’s efficacy.

The reason why your oncologist doesn’t talk about these therapies is because they are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Drug companies don’t spend millions of dollars to test non-conventional therapies that can’t be patented.

The important takeaway from this blog post is that there are evidence-based therapies beyond conventional methods to help you fight your melanoma including:

  • nutrition
  • integrative supplementation 
  • lifestyle therapies

All shown to enhance the efficacy of chemo or kill melanoma.

I am both a long-term survivor of an incurable cancer and a cancer coach. Years of experience and research have taught me that cancer patients owe it to themselves to pursue evidence-based therapies beyond what conventional oncology offers.

To learn more about therapies to enhance the efficacy of conventional melanoma chemotherapy scroll down the page to post a question or a comment. I will reply to you ASAP.


David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:

Treatment of Metastatic Melanoma: An Overview

“The 10-year survival rate for patients with metastatic melanoma is less than 10%. Although surgery and radiation therapy have a role in the treatment of metastatic disease, systemic therapy is the mainstay of treatment for most patients. Single-agent chemotherapy is well tolerated but is associated with response rates of only 5% to 20%…

High-dose interleukin-2 (HD IL-2 [Proleukin]), approved by the FDA in 1998 for metastatic melanoma, benefits a small subset of patients…

Three groups of patients were identified: those with cutaneous, nodal, or gastrointestinal tract metastases; those with isolated pulmonary metastases; and those with liver, brain, or bone metastases.[3] The median survivals in these three groups were 12.5, 8.3, and 4.4 months, respectively. The 5-year actuarial survivals were 14%, 4%, and 3%, respectively. In addition to the site of disease, the presence of an elevated serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) has also been associated with poor prognosis.[4,5]…


Treatment of metastatic melanoma remains a challenge. While surgery and radiation therapy may play a role in the palliation of symptoms from local tumor growth, systemic therapy is the mainstay of treatment for metastatic melanoma. Treatment with HD IL-2 may induce durable responses in a small subset of patients and should be considered in eligible patients. Chemotherapeutic approaches may have a palliative benefit. Single-agent chemotherapy is usually well tolerated. Combination chemotherapy and biochemotherapy have not improved survival but may lead to increased response rates at the cost of higher toxicity. Many novel therapeutic approaches appear promising, and participation in clinical trials should be considered the standard of care.”

Curcumin analog DM-1 in monotherapy or combinatory treatment with dacarbazine as a strategy to inhibit in vivo melanoma progression

“Malignant melanoma is a highly aggressive form of skin cancer with a high mortality rate if not discovered in early stages. Although a limited number of treatment options for melanoma currently exist, patients with a more aggressive form of this cancer frequently decline treatment.

DM-1 is a sodium phenolate and curcumin analog with proven anticancer, anti-proliferative and anti-metastatic properties.

In this paper, the DM-1 compound showed in vivo antitumor activity alone or in combination with chemotherapeutic DTIC in B16F10 melanoma-bearing mice. Beneficial effects such as melanoma tumor burden reduction with pyknotic nuclei, decreased nuclei/cytoplasmic ratio and nuclear degradation occurred after DM-1 treatment. No toxicological changes were observed in the liver, kidneys, spleen and lungs after DM-1 monotherapy or DTIC combined therapy. DTIC+DM-1 treatment induced the recovery of anemia arising from melanoma and immunomodulation. Both DM-1 treatment alone and in combination with DTIC induced apoptosis with the cleavage of caspase-3, -8 and -9.

Furthermore, melanoma tumors treated with DM-1 showed a preferential apoptotic intrinsic pathway by decreasing Bcl-2/Bax ratio. Considering the chemoresistance exhibited by melanoma towards conventional chemotherapy drugs, DM-1 compound in monotherapy or in combination therapy provides a promising improvement in melanoma treatment with a reduction of side effects…”

Nutritional Interventions for Patients with Melanoma: From Prevention to Therapy—An Update

“Melanoma is an aggressive skin cancer, whose incidence rates have increased over the past few decades. Risk factors for melanoma are both intrinsic (genetic and familiar predisposition) and extrinsic (environment, including sun exposure, and lifestyle). The recent advent of targeted and immune-based therapies has revolutionized the treatment of melanoma, and research is focusing on strategies to optimize them. Obesity is an established risk factor for several cancer types, but its possible role in the etiology of melanoma is controversial. Body mass index, body surface area, and height have been related to the risk for cutaneous melanoma, although an ‘obesity paradox’ has been described too.

Increasing evidence suggests the role of nutritional factors in the prevention and management of melanoma. Several studies have demonstrated the impact of dietary attitudes, specific foods, and nutrients both on the risk for melanoma and on the progression of the disease, via the effects on the oncological treatments.

The aim of this narrative review was to summarize the main literature results regarding the preventive and therapeutic role of nutritional schemes, specific foods, and nutrients on melanoma incidence and progression…”


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