Malignant melanoma represents a serious public health problem and is a deadly disease when it is diagnosed at late stage. Though 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (18F-FDG) positron emission tomography (PET) has been widely used clinically for melanoma imaging, other approaches to specifically identify, characterize, monitor and guide therapeutics for malignant melanoma are still needed. Consequently, many probes targeting general molecular events including metabolism, angiogenesis, hypoxia and apoptosis in melanoma have been successfully developed. Furthermore, probes targeting melanoma associated targets such as melanocortin receptor 1 (MC1R), melanin, etc. have undergone active investigation and have demonstrated high melanoma specificity. In this review, these molecular probes targeting diverse melanoma biomarkers have been summarized. Some of them may eventually contribute to the improvement of personalized management of malignant melanoma.
Keywords: Molecular Imaging, Melanoma, PET, Molecular Probe, MC1R, Melanin
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