Background: Malignant melanoma is a skin cancer responsible for 90% of cutaneous cancer-
related deaths. In recent years, breakthroughs in treatment strategy have revolutionized the prognosis
in both early and advanced melanoma patients. In particular, treatment with monoclonal antibodies
targeting co-inhibitory checkpoints or specific molecular pathways leads to a new era of promising
options, by prolonging the survival time of these patients.
Moreover, unlike the chemotherapy that was used until some time ago, these new drugs have a good
and more manageable toxicity profile. However, because of the recent introduction in clinical practice
of the new agents, there is a learning curve among physicians regarding early recognition and management
of the associated side effects.
Objectives: The analysis of the toxicity profiles of the different agents currently studied for the treatment
of early and advanced melanoma, and the description of several relevant recent patents in this
field, are the aims of this review.
Methods: This is a systematically conducted review based on current clinical guidelines and on international
Pharmacovigilance databases (AERS-Eudravigilance - WHO Vigibase).
Results: Our systematic analysis outlines a comprehensive overview of the pharmacology, clinical
application and the safety of recent anticancer drugs to treat melanoma, which can be an essential instrument
for health professionals and researchers.
Conclusion: The new oncological therapies against melanoma are based on increasingly specific biological
and immunological targets. For this reason, the potential toxicities that are expected from patients
would be less relevant than the systemic "classical" chemotherapy. However, the new therapies
are not free from the risk of causing adverse reactions, some of which must be managed promptly and
appropriately; moreover, the multiplicity of the metabolic pathways exposes the new target therapies to
relevant potential interactions. This review can help to understand how important it is not to underestimate
potential adverse drug reactions related to new targeted therapies.