Treating advanced melanoma: current insights and opportunities
Michael Tronnier, Christina Mitteldorf
Department of Dermatology, Klinikum Hildesheim GmbH, Hildesheim, Germany
Abstract: Whereas thin melanomas have an excellent prognosis after sufficient surgical treatment, melanoma disease in advanced stages is still a therapeutic challenge. After decades of frustrating studies, new therapeutic strategies have come up in the past few years. On the one hand, increasing insights into the molecular aberrations in melanoma have led to specific "targeted" therapies to affect only the mutated tumor cells, as in many other types of cancers. Today there are few "targeted" substances which are already approved and successfully used for single or combination therapy, but many others are under development. While on the other hand, nonpersonalized strategy substances have been developed successfully inducing an immunologic tumor response. Both kinds of therapy have been found to result in an improvement not only of the response rate, but also of the overall survival in metastatic disease, which represents a milestone in melanoma therapy. However, using these therapies there is still much to learn regarding the effects, the side effects, and the limitations of these promising substances.
Keywords: melanoma, treatment, targeted therapy, immunotherapy, BRAF, CTLA-4
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