Diseases and Conditions
Our team of internationally recognized melanoma subspecialists and multidisciplinary experts at Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care collaborate on all aspects of melanoma care, from research and prevention to diagnosis and treatment.
The team includes medical, surgical and radiation oncologists and orthopedic surgeons who consult with clinical experts in departments such as Dermatology, Plastic Surgery, Pathology, Nutrition, Palliative Care and Nuclear Medicine to customize each patient's treatment plan.
Cancer patients come to the Center for Cancer Care each year from the New York metropolitan area, as well as other areas across the nation, for consultations, advanced diagnostics, treatments, and the highest quality of continuing care.
Exciting New Treatments at
Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care
Approximately half of newly diagnosed cases of melanoma are isolated to the upper or lower limbs, and in up to 10 percent of these cases, recurrence takes place in the same limb where the primary diagnosis was made. For patients with recurrent melanoma that is confined to a limb and cannot be cured by surgical means, a procedure called Isolated Limb Perfusion (ILP) can be offered. ILP provides an alternative to amputation. This method allows for large doses of chemotherapy to be delivered to the affected limb, leaving the rest of the body untouched. The chance that the tumors will completely disappear is about 50 percent after ILP.
"With ILP, patients' response rates are much higher than can be achieved with any other form of therapy currently available," says Katia Papalezova, MD, Surgical Oncologist. "Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care is among a select group of centers nationwide to offer ILP and isolated limb infusion (ILI), a simplified, minimally invasive procedure offered those patients who are poor candidates for ILP."
In addition, Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care offers immunotherapies—drugs that work with your immune system to stop or slow the growth of cancer cells—for the treatment of metastatic melanoma. We offer high-dose interleukin-2 (IL-2) therapy as well as the newly approved antibody Yervoy, both highly complex therapies which can achieve cure in a percentage of patients with stage 4 disease.
Montefiore is one of only a few medical centers in the New York metropolitan area providing these therapies to treat melanomas.
Full Spectrum of Support Services
The Center for Cancer Care is committed to providing melanoma patients with family-centered care in a nurturing environment. We offer our patients a full spectrum of support services, from nutritional guidance to complementary and alternative therapies. Our physicians treat the whole patient by offering alternative support services such as yoga and stress management. We listen to our patients, respect their personal needs and desires, and place a premium on enhancing their quality of life.
Comprehensive Treatment Plan
For each patient, our team develops a comprehensive, individualized treatment plan that is designed to achieve the best possible outcome. We closely monitor the progress of treatment and allow for rapid adjustments as needed.
During their initial visit, patients meet with their entire treatment team to gain a full understanding of their diagnosis and treatment recommendations. Throughout treatment, our Tumor Board specialists meet weekly to discuss the condition of each of our patients to ensure they are receiving the most effective treatment plan possible.
Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care partners with the Albert Einstein Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute-designated cancer center, to translate academic research findings into breakthrough treatments. Petra Rietschel, MD, Director of the Melanoma/Sarcoma Program, and a leader in researching molecular targets and identifying new drugs capable of attacking those targets, explains,"We believe cancer treatments should be as unique as each of our patients." "We are developing as many highly effective therapies as possible to offer ample options to determine the right drug—or combination of drugs—for each patient's individual situation."
Treatment Options Not Available Anywhere Else
Our patients are given opportunities to participate in early-stage studies to determine if a new therapy effectively works for them. The trials are preceded by intensive and extensive laboratory research, and the potential benefits of participating in these clinical studies are numerous. They provide opportunities for our patients to receive the latest treatments long before they are available anywhere else.
Trying an experimental therapy can be both exciting and frightening. Our focus is on the needs and concerns of participants, and we offer every assurance that each patient is in complete control of the process. We are vigilant about qualifying and approving candidates for specific studies. Additionally, each patient participates voluntarily and can choose to stop treatment at any time.