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Journal of Skin Cancer
Volume 2013, Article ID 735282, 10 pages
Review Article

Latest Approved Therapies for Metastatic Melanoma: What Comes Next?

Department of Oncology, Stem Cells and Nanomedicine, Fluorotronics, Inc., 2453 Cades Way, Building C, San Diego, CA 92081, USA

Received 10 August 2012; Revised 16 January 2013; Accepted 18 January 2013

Academic Editor: M. Lebwohl

Copyright © 2013 Farid Menaa. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Nowadays, oncogene-directed therapy and immunotherapy represent the two most promising avenues for patients with metastatic melanoma. The recent oncogene-directed therapeutic, vemurafenib, usually produces high level of tumor shrinkage and survival benefits in many patients with B-RA mutant melanomas, although the fast and high degrees of responses are likely short-lived. Conversely, the newly-approved immunotherapeutic, ipilimumab, produces durable responses in patients presenting CTLA-4 T-cell surface protein. Nevertheless, the possible synergy in combining these two therapeutic strategies primarily rely on the rational design of medical protocols (e.g., sequence and timing of agent administration; drug selectivity; compatibility of combined therapies i.e., adoptive T cell or agents, i.e., MEK inhibitor trametinib, PD-1 and PDL-1 blockers). Improved therapeutic protocols shall overcome therapeutic limitations such as the (i) tolerability and safety (i.e., minimal toxic side-effects); (ii) progression free survival (e.g., reduced relapse disease frequency); (iii) duration response (i.e., decreased drug resistance). Eventually, multidisciplinary approaches are still requested (e.g., genomics for personalized medicine, nanomedicine to overcome low free-drug bioavailability and targeting, systematic search of “melanoma stem cells” to enhance the prognosis and develop more valuable theranostics). In this paper, I will mainly present and discuss the latest and promising treatments for advanced cutaneous melanomas.