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Semin Oncol. 2007 Dec;34(6):566-76.

Roadmap for new opportunities in melanoma research.

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  • 1Molecular and Cellular Oncogenesis, The Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.


Investigators representing all major melanoma research areas present an overview of the most important challenges for the field. Four major research areas are covered plus the training of new investigators. For each area we first describe the present status, its strengths and weaknesses, and then outline specific recommendations. In basic research of melanoma, we outline the pertinent issues for melanoma classification, understanding melanocyte development and transformation, melanoma resistance, tumor microenvironment, metastasis, animal models, immune response, and blood and tissue diagnostics. In clinical research we provide an overview of the current challenges and the strategies for characterization, monitoring, and therapy. It will be important to develop strong research and clinical infrastructures by establishing tumor banks, identifying and validating biomarkers, developing new imaging techniques, and increasing multidisciplinary collaboration and communication. To strengthen the field we need to recruit both young and established investigators and foster career development plans that cover all disciplines. Recent research advances provide significant opportunities to have a major impact on this devastating disease. This group provides recommendations for both short- and long-term strategies that build on research strengths and opportunities established by the many members of the research community.

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