As a newly diagnosed Mucosal Melanoma patient, you are going to be hearing and reading a lot of information with words and phrases that you may not be familiar with. Your doctors and care team are going to be giving you instructions for scheduling appointments and options for treatment plans. This section can help you with common terms that you need to know.
Glossary of Common Terms
Adjuvant – a treatment that is given after surgery or radiation.
APR – Abdominoperineal Resection – The removal of the rectum and anus when margins are not clear and the cancer is too close to the sphincter muscle.
Clear Margins – Excised tissue that has been taken far enough from the tumor with no cancer cells present.
Clinical Trial – An experimental treatment that is given to a limited number of patients for the purpose of testing the safety and effectiveness of the medication or procedure.
DX – Diagnosis, Diagnosed
Medications used forTreating Mucosal Melanoma
- Cisplatin/Temozolomide – a 5-day treatment combination chemotherapy.
- Gleevec – a targeted medication for C-Kit mutations. (pill form)
- Ipi/Ipilimumab – a type of immunotherapy administered by infusion. The commercial name is Yervoy. May be given as a single monotherapy or combined with another medication.
- Nivo/Nivolumab – a type of immunotherapy administered by infusion. The commercial name is Opdivo. May be given as a single monotherapy or combined with another medication.
- Opdualag – a premixed combination of Nivolumab and Relatimab given by infusion.
- Pembro (Pembrolizumab) – a type of immunotherapy administered by infusion. The commercial name is Keytruda.
Metastasis – The occurrence of cancer tumors that have spread from the primary location to other parts of the body. Also referred to as “Mets”.
MM – Mucosal Melanoma
NED – No Evidence of Disease (Cancer-free)
Neoadjuvant – a treatment that is delivered prior to surgery.
Primary – The location of the original tumor at diagnosis.
Pseudoprogression – Pseudoprogression describes when cancer appears to worsen, despite actually improving. Immunotherapy drugs, such as checkpoint inhibitors, are associated with an increase in size and burden of tumors, followed by tumor regression.
RT – Radiation Therapy
Scans – Doctors will order a variety of tests to establish information about your cancer. Along with bloodwork, images of the location and size of any tumors can be identified and measured using different types of radiology. Each type of imaging provides a different view that allows the doctor to get exact details needed for decisions about your treatment.
- PET (Positron Emission Tomography) is a whole body scan that uses a radioactive tracer injected into your body that reacts and lights up anything that might be cancer. A PET scan can often detect diseases before other imaging tests.
- MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is an imaging technique that produces three-dimensional detailed images. The technique excites and detects the change in direction in the water that makes up living tissues.
- CT (Computerized Tomography) is a series of X-ray images taken from different angles to create cross-sectional images, or slices of bones, blood vessels and soft tissues in the body. CT scans provide more detailed information than regular X-rays.
TIL Therapy (Tumor Infiltrating Lymphocytes) – The use of extracted tumor tissue that is engineered with an agent causing growth of T-cells and turning them into tumor destroying cells.
WLE – Wide Local Excision – surgery to remove as much of the cancer as possibleVulvectomy – The partial or complete removal of skin in the vulvar area, including removal of deep subcutaneous tissue.