Stage IV melanoma means that the melanoma cells have spread to another part of the body, such as the lungs, liver, bones, brain and distant lymph nodes.  You may have been diagnosed with stage IV melanoma straight away, or you may have initially been diagnosed previously with an earlier stage of the disease and now the cancer has returned and spread.  Distant lymph nodes are ones which do not drain the site of the primary melanoma. There are a number of possible treatments for stage IV melanoma, and your doctor will discuss with you which ones might be suitable. Treatment for stage IV melanoma is aimed at prolonging life and relieving symptoms. Over recent years much progress has been made for this stage of the disease. Treatments in recent years are proving more and more successful, with increasing numbers of people surviving for many years after the diagnosis of stage IV disease.

Single agent treatments refer to drugs that are administered to patients as individual treatments, as opposed to combinations of more than one drug.

Combination therapies for melanoma refer to the use of two or more drugs administered together.

Please note that this section is designed to help you understand the treatments that your doctor may consider suitable for treating your melanoma.

Targeted Therapies

(If braf mutation is present)

Combination therapies:

  • Dabrafenib and Trametinib
  • Vemurafenib and Cobimetinib
  • Encorafenib and Binimetinib


Single agents:

  • Nivolumab
  • Pembrolizumab
  • Ipilimumab

Combination therapies:

  • Ipilimumab + Nivolumab

Other Options

  • Surgery
  • Radiotherapy
  • Talimogene laherparepvec (T-VEC)
  • Electrochemotherapy
  • Symptom control

NB. Depending on the advice of your doctor, treatments may be taken alongside, or in combination with other treatments

Click on the options below for further details.

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