The Genetic Basis of New Treatment Modalities in Melanoma

Author(s): Manfred Kunz

Journal Name: Current Drug Targets

Volume 16 , Issue 3 , 2015

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In recent years, intracellular signal transduction via RAS-RAF-MEK-ERK has been successfully targeted in new treatment approaches for melanoma using small molecule inhibitors against activated BRAF (V600E mutation) and activated MEK1/2. Also mutated c-KIT has been identified as a promising target. Meanwhile, evidence has been provided that combinations between BRAF inhibitors and MEK1/2 inhibitors are more promising than single-agent treatments. Moreover, new treatment algorithms favor sequential treatment using BRAF inhibitors and newly developed immunotherapies targeting common T lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA-4) or programmed cell death 1 (PD-1). In depth molecular analyses have uncovered new mechanisms of treatment resistance and recurrence, which may impact on future treatment decisions. Moreover, next-generation sequencing data have shown that recurrent lesions harbor specific genetic aberrations. At the same time, high throughput sequencing studies of melanoma unraveled a series of new treatment candidates for future treatment approaches such as ERBB4, GRIN2A, GRM3, and RAC1. More recent bioinformatic technologies provided genetic evidence for extensive tumor heterogeneity and tumor clonality of solid tumors, which might also be of relevance for melanoma. However, these technologies have not yet been applied to this tumor. In this review, an overview on the genetic basis of current treatment of melanoma, treatment resistance and recurrences including new treatment perspectives based on recent high-throughput sequencing data is provided. Moreover, future aspects of individualized treatment based on each patient’s individual mutational landscape are discussed.

Keywords: BRAF, genetics, immunotherapy, targeted treatment.

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Article Details

Year: 2015
Page: [233 - 248]
Pages: 16
DOI: 10.2174/1389450116666150204112138
Price: $65

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