Back to Journals » OncoTargets and Therapy » Volume 7

Neoadjuvant therapy for locally advanced melanoma: new strategies with targeted therapies

Authors La Greca M, Grasso G, Antonelli G, Russo AE, Bartolotta S, D'Angelo A, Vitale FV, Ferraù F

Received 19 February 2014

Accepted for publication 13 May 2014

Published 19 June 2014 Volume 2014:7 Pages 1115—1121


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Michele La Greca,1 Giuseppe Grasso,2 Giovanna Antonelli,1 Alessia Erika Russo,1 Salvatore Bartolotta,3 Alessandro D’Angelo,1 Felice Vito Vitale,1 Francesco Ferraù1

1Medical Oncology Department, San Vincenzo Hospital, Taormina, Messina, Italy; 2Pathology Department, San Vincenzo Hospital, Taormina, Messina, Italy; 3Surgical Unit, Casa di Cura Gretter-Lucina, Catania, Catania, Italy

Abstract: Neoadjuvant chemotherapy has been successfully tested in several bulky solid tumors, but it has not been utilized in advanced cutaneous melanoma, primarily because effective medical treatments for this disease have been lacking. However, with the development of new immunotherapies (monoclonal antibodies specific for cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 [anti-CTLA-4] and programmed death protein-1 [anti-PD1]) and small molecules interfering with intracellular pathways (anti-BRAF and mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase [anti- MEK]) the use of this approach is becoming a viable treatment strategy for locally advanced melanoma. The neoadjuvant setting provides a double opportunity for a better knowledge of these drugs: a short-term evaluation of their intrinsic activity, and a deeper analysis of their action and resistance-induction mechanisms. BRAF inhibitors seem to be ideal candidates for the neoadjuvant setting, because of their prompt, repeatedly confirmed response in V600E BRAF-mutant metastatic melanoma. In this report we summarize studies focused on the neoadjuvant use of traditional medical treatments in advanced melanoma and anecdotal cases of this approach with the use of biologic therapies. Moreover, we discuss our experience with neoadjuvant targeted therapy as a priming for radical surgery in a patient with BRAF V600E mutation-positive advanced melanoma.

Keywords: neoadjuvant setting, biologic, targeted therapy, vemurafenib, advanced melanoma

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]