Skin Cancer Home > Sylatron Uses

If you have had surgery to remove malignant melanoma that has spread to the lymph nodes, your healthcare provider may prescribe Sylatron to help prevent (or at least delay) the return of the cancer. This medicine is approved for use in people age 18 and older. In some cases, a healthcare provider may recommend using Sylatron "off-label," such as for treating hepatitis C.

What Is Sylatron Used For?

Sylatron™ (peginterferon alfa-2b) is a prescription medication approved for treating melanoma. It is intended for use after the melanoma has been removed surgically, to help prevent (or at least delay) the melanoma from coming back. Specifically, it is approved to be started within 84 days after surgery to remove lymph nodes that contain the cancer cells.
 
Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. It occurs when melanocytes, the cells that make melanin (which gives the skin and hair its color), begin to grow abnormally and become cancerous. Although melanoma is not as common as other cancers, it is becoming more common every year.
 
Some people appear to have a higher risk for melanoma. This includes people who have:
 
  • A family history of melanoma
  • Had one or more severe sunburns during childhood
  • Fair skin and light-colored eyes
  • Many moles or freckles
  • Frequent sun exposure, including artificial sun exposure (such as tanning beds)
  • A weakened immune system.
 
In most cases, the first symptom of melanoma is a change in the size, shape, color, or feel of an existing mole. However, melanoma may also appear as a new mole. Growths or sores that itch, scab, become crusty, or bleed may also be a sign of melanoma.
 
If melanoma is caught early, it can often be treated with surgery. Sylatron helps increase the time a person stays cancer-free after surgery.
 
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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