Dr Martin Dietrich Describes Need to Move Quickly With “Aggressive, Unpredictable” Melanoma

Source: AJMC, April 2022

Martin Dietrich, MD, PhD, is a medical oncologist with Florida Cancer Specialists and Research Institute and an assistant professor of internal medicine at the University of Central Florida Cancer Center in Orlando. He spoke with The American Journal of Managed Care® (AJMC®) about risk factors in melanoma, as well as the need for genomic testing and rapid action in treatment for a cancer that can progress very quickly.

AJMC®: Could you start us off by describing the incidence and prevalence of melanoma in the United States?

Dietrich: We’re seeing about 30,000 cases of melanoma a year in the United States. The majority of them are in early stages detected by dermatologists. They’re surgically managed, depending on [the] level of invasion, other high-risk factors subjected to lymph node evaluation, and possible further imaging. Only a small portion of the melanomas that we’re seeing are lymph node-positive or even metastatic. We have to distinguish those 2 parts; one, in the early stages carrying an excellent prognosis with surgical therapy alone. Then both local advancement, as well as metastatic manifestations are coming. Obviously, the prognosis is significantly impacted.