Treatment of Recurrent Melanoma

Treatment of recurrent melanoma depends on the stage of the original melanoma, the initial treatment, and the type of recurrence.

Isolated Local Recurrence

In this case, a single melanoma reappears in the area of the original tumor. Recommended treatment depends on the site(s) of recurrence, as shown below.

Site of Recurrence Recommended Treatment

At the site of the original surgical scar

Reexcise the site

1 in-transit lesion

Reexcise the site to a negative surgical margin

More than 1 in-transit lesion

Immunotherapy, systemic chemotherapy, or regional chemotherapy with isolated limb perfusion

Lymph Node Recurrence

In this case, recurrence is confined to the regional basin of the original lymph node. Recommended treatment depends on the type of previous treatment, as shown below.

Previous Treatment Recommended Treatment

No previous lymph node dissection

Therapeutic lymph node dissection

Sentinel lymph node mapping or sentinel lymph node biopsy

Therapeutic lymph node dissection

Therapeutic lymph node dissection or elective lymph node dissection

Excise lymph node recurrence to negative surgical margins

Distant Recurrence

Treated the same way as stage IV melanoma, including surgery, radiation therapy, and/or systemic therapies.


About Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies to evaluate new therapies and improve cancer care. These studies are responsible for most of the advances in cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. If you have melanoma, you may be eligible to participate in a clinical trial.

Click here for more on clinical trials

Patient & Caregiver Symposiums

Join leading melanoma experts in an educational symposium for patients and the people who support them.

Sign Up Today

Please keep me informed.

Receive comprehensive, breaking news about melanoma, research, legislation, and events.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.