Immunotherapy51 stimulates your body’s natural defence system (immune system) to help fight the cancer. A number of different medications are available, some of which can be used on their own (monotherapy) or together (combination therapy):

  • Ipilimumab (Yervoy®): Ipilimumab is a treatment for people with advanced melanoma that's spread or can't be removed using surgery. Ipilimumab is given by injection directly into a vein (intravenously) over a 90-minute period, every three weeks for a total of four doses.
  • Nivolumab (Opdivo®): Nivolumab is used to treat melanoma that has spread or can't be removed using surgery. Nivolumab is given by injection, and can be used either on its own or in combination with ipilimumab. It's given by intravenous injection over a 60-minute period, every two weeks.
  • Pembrolizumab (Keytruda®): Pembrolizumab is used for the treatment of advanced melanoma in adults that's spread or can't be treated with surgery. Pembrolizumab is given by intravenous injection for 30 minutes, every three weeks.

You may want to ask your doctor these questions about immunotherapy:

  • Why is immunotherapy recommended for me?
  • How long will I be on treatment for?
  • Do I need to go to the hospital to have my treatment?
  • How will I know if the treatment is working?
  • What side effects could I experience? How will they be managed?
  • Are there any long-term side effects?

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