Melanoma is a life threatening disease with a growing incidence rate. It is estimated that 9840 patients will die
from melanoma in 2014. Despite numerous attempts for treating metastatic melanoma, conventional therapies including
systemic chemotherapy or immunotherapy, either as single agents or combined, have not been promising. The most cytotoxic
agents have low molecular weight, which leads to rapid excretion, nonspecific distribution, and poor therapeutic index.
Therefore, they may even increase toxicity due to their non-specific action on healthy tissue that can exacerbate the
malady. To provide optimum effective concentration, multiple-dose drug administration is required, which again can increase
the incidence of adverse effects. Recent developments in drug delivery systems are able to improve the drug efficacy
and safety, and offer more promising approaches in treating melanoma. Recent researches have shed more light on
the advantages of novel drug loaded carrier systems versus free drugs. Most of these animal studies, reported improvement
in treatment efficacy and survival rate using novel carrier systems. This is related to the ability of these systems in
enhancing the anticancer effect by modifying drug pharmacokinetics and biodistribution, selective target delivery of the
agents to the diseased tissue and their ability to cross the biological barriers. In this paper, it is attempted to illustrate the
potentials of novel strategies in treatment of melanoma incorporating drug delivery systems versus conventional therapies.
Keywords: Gene therapy, iontophoresis, immunotoxin, liposomes, melanoma, metastasis, nanoparticles, novel drug delivery
system, photodynamic therapy, ultrasound, vaccination.
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