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Targeted therapy delivers drugs that work throughout the body to fight melanoma. These drugs slow the growth of melanoma cells or destroy them.
Targeted therapy is made possible through an understanding of specific genetic mutations in the tumor cells themselves that can be “targeted” for cell death, without affecting most normal tissues.
Targeted drugs interfere with specific parts of cancerous melanoma cells. For the treatment to work in melanoma, the tumor has to have the BRAF mutation. A test to determine whether your melanoma carries this mutation would be done if you have disease that has spread to your lymph nodes or other parts of the body.