Melanoma is a significant, worldwide growing public health burden. Single-agent chemotherapy or immunotherapy remains the treatment of election for this disease when systemic therapy is offered. Malignant melanoma of the skin is distinguished by its capability to early metastatic spread by means of lymphatic vessels to regional lymph nodes. Herein new accomplishments on the role of lymphangiogenesis and of angiogenesis in cutaneous melanoma will be discussed, together with the possible application of these discoveries in developing prognostic and therapeutic tools in melanoma metastasis. Furthermore, the present review will summarize the main angiogenic inhibitors reported in the recent patents (2003-2005), with special emphasis on the aspects which have important implications for the prognosis and the treatment of human melanomas.
Keywords: Melanoma, angiogenesis, lymphangiogenesis
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