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What Is Dacarbazine Used For?

If you have Hodgkin's disease or malignant melanoma, you may receive a medication called dacarbazine. This prescription drug works by interrupting the multiplication process of cancer cells. It is approved only for use in adults. Dacarbazine may also be used off-label to treat other conditions, such as pancreatic cancer, thyroid cancer, and Kaposi's sarcoma.

An Overview of Uses for Dacarbazine

Dacarbazine (DTIC-Dome®) is a prescription chemotherapy medication. It is approved to treat a type of skin cancer called malignant melanoma that has spread to other areas of the body (metastasized). It is also approved for use in combination with other chemotherapy medicines to treat Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Dacarbazine Use for the Treatment of Malignant Melanoma

Malignant melanoma, also called melanoma, is the most serious type of skin cancer. It begins when melanocytes become abnormal and begin to divide without control or order. Melanocytes are skin cells that produce melanin, the pigment that gives skin and hair its color. The abnormal cells form a mass of cancerous tissue (a tumor) on the surface of the skin.
Melanoma can occur anywhere on the body, but most often occurs in areas that are exposed to the sun, such as the shoulders, back, arms, legs, and face. However, it can also develop in the eyes (called intraocular malignant melanoma) or internal parts of the body, such as the digestive tract.
In most cases, the first symptom of melanoma is a change in the appearance of an existing mole. Melanoma may also appear as a new mole, a change in skin coloring, or a new sore or growth on the skin (see Melanoma Symptoms for more detailed information about possible signs of melanoma). Recognizing the early signs of melanoma is important, as the disease is more likely to be cured if caught early.
Melanoma is just one of several types of skin cancer. It is considered a dangerous skin cancer because it may spread quickly to other areas of the body. Melanoma that has spread from the original site to deeper parts of the skin or other parts of the body is called metastatic melanoma. Melanoma is more difficult to treat once it has spread.
The most common treatment for metastatic melanoma is surgery (see Surgery for Melanoma). However, surgery is generally not effective at controlling melanoma that has spread to other parts of the body. Once the cancer has spread, other types of treatment may be needed, including:
Dacarbazine is a chemotherapy treatment option for malignant melanoma. It is specifically approved to treat malignant melanoma that has spread to other areas of the body (metastatic malignant melanoma).
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