Present Role and Future Prospects for Radiotherapy in the Management of Malignant Melanomas

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Malignant melanomas are not very radiosensitive neoplasms. Therefore, the prime management of such lesions is surgical. However, there are certain circumstances in which radiation therapy has been used and should be considered as useful. This article provides an overview of the literature on radiotherapy of primary and metastatic malignant melanomas in man. In addition, some unconventional methods like the use of radiation sensitizers, oxygen-independent radiation therapy, radiation combined with hyperbaric oxygen, and high-dose-per-fraction irradiation are discussed. The beneficial responses to radiation that have been reported in the literature and that we have personally observed suggest that a prospective study to determine the proper role of radiation therapy in the management of all forms and stages of malignant melanomas is warranted.

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