Current status and future direction in the management of malignant melanoma

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Abstract

The incidence of malignant melanoma is increasing rapidly on a global scale. Although some types of melanoma, for example primary cutaneous melanoma, can be managed by surgery, metastatic melanoma cannot and it has a high mortality rate. Both oncogene and immune-targeted strategies have shown marked efficacy in some patients, but their effect on overall survival is still variable. Therefore, newer therapeutic approaches are needed. Fortunately, new advances in molecular medicine have led to an understanding of an individual patient’s cancer at the genomic level. This information is now being used in all stages of cancer treatment including diagnosis, treatment selection, and treatment monitoring. This new strategy of personalized medicine may lead to marked shifts in immunotherapeutic treatment approaches such as individualized cancer vaccines and adoptive transfer of genetically modified T cells. This review provides an overview of recent approaches in cancer research and expected impact on the future of treatment for metastatic melanoma.

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