For decades there were no advances in treatment for metastatic melanoma, although old immunotherapy modalities, such as high doses of IL-2 or cellular vaccines, demonstrated activity in some individual cases, median survival of metastatic melanoma patients did not improve. In recent years this situation has changed dramatically. Several active treatments for melanoma have been approved and now melanoma is a model for the development of treatment for other tumors. Drugs such as BRAF and MEK inhibitors obtain a clear survival advantage with high response rates. Immunotherapy with anti CTLA-4 antibody (ipilimumab) and the anti PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitors (nivolumab and pembrolizumab) has demonstrated activity with long lasting responses.
This focused Issue reviews the state of the art in melanoma. Experts in the field review the most relevant findings about biology, genetics and new treatments for melanoma. We try to provide simple keys of lecture that might help illustrate the conceptual basis and at least some of the potential future developments for melanoma management.
Guest Editor: Maria González Cao, MD Department of Medical Oncology, Instituto Oncológico Dr Rosell (IOR), Hospital Universitario Quirón Dexeus, Barcelona, Spain