Metastatic melanoma has a poor prognosis and until today most therapeutic approaches are ineffective. Advances
in molecular pathology and genome analysis technologies have led to the identification of genetic events and immune
regulatory checkpoints that provide novel targets for pharmaceutical intervention in melanoma. Development of selective
mitogen-activated kinase (MAPK) pathway inhibitors was the first major achievement coming from genetic studies
that identified a constitutively active MAP kinase pathway and BRAF activating mutations in melanoma. At the same
time, the manipulation of immune system checkpoints through monoclonal antibodies changed clinical practice and led to
further improvement of patient outcomes. In an effort to further develop melanoma targeted therapies that depend on the
genetic profile of a given patient, high-throughput genome wide approaches (next-generation sequencing [NGS], gene arrays,
etc) have been employed for the characterization of genetic alterations in the patient’s tumor. In the near future, the
combined information from the genetic and immune background of an individual will provide the basis for a personalized,
highly targeted approach in the treatment of melanoma.
Keywords: Arrays, BRAF inhibitors, immunotherapy, MAPK, melanoma, post-genomic Era.
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