Health Tip of the Week, sponsored by Baton Rouge General: New treatment gives hope for advanced melanoma

Did you know that melanoma is less common than other forms of skin cancer, but causes the most skin cancer deaths? The FDA has granted accelerated approval for a first-of-its-kind, cell-based immunotherapy being touted as a breakthrough treatment option for melanoma patients. This one-time cell therapy extracts T cells directly from the patient’s tumor, which is then sent to a lab to grow billions of immune cells from the diseased tissue. The body must have room to accept these billions of new cells, so the patient receives chemotherapy to temporarily deplete the immune system first. Once chemotherapy is complete, the new cells are infused back into the patient to attack and kill the cancer. Learn more about the new treatment for melanoma.