The Systemic Management of Advanced Melanoma in 2016

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Melanoma is a common type of skin cancer with a high propensity to metastasize. Tyrosine kinase inhibitors targeting the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway and immune checkpoint blockade have recently revolutionized the management of unresectable and metastatic disease. However, acquired resistance and primary non-response to therapy require novel treatment strategies and combinations. The purpose of this review is to provide a brief and up-to-date overview on the clinical management and current trial landscape in melanoma. We summarize the most pertinent studies on BRAF/MEK inhibitors and blockade of cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4 (CTLA-4) and programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1). Although most agents show robust antitumor efficacy as single agents, further improvements have been achieved by the combination of both approved and developing drugs. We discuss ongoing trials and evaluate future approaches that may provide additional efficacy with less toxicity.

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