Advances in targeted therapy for melanoma

Philip Friedlander, F. Stephen Hodi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Metastatic melanoma remains an aggressive malignancy conferring a very poor prognosis, and standard chemotherapeutic and immunologic treatments have not demonstrated an overall survival benefit. No molecularly targeted therapy is approved for the treatment of advanced melanoma. Melanoma is a molecularly heterogeneous malignancy, and optimal treatment in a given patient is likely to depend on the presence of specific molecular abnormalities. Aberrations in components of signal transduction pathways have been identified that modulate melanoma proliferation and survival. Mutations that activate the mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway via BRAF or NRAS are present in the majority of melanomas arising on skin intermittently exposed to the sun. Mutations that activate the KIT oncogene are more commonly present in melanomas arising from mucosal, acral, or chronic sun-damaged sites. Inhibitors of the MAPK pathway and of KIT are currently undergoing clinical investigation. In this article, we review advances in targeted strategies to treat different subgroups of patients with melanoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)619-627
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Advances in Hematology and Oncology
Volume8
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Braf
  • Gnaq
  • Kit
  • Mapk
  • Mek
  • Melanoma

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