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Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2012 Apr;16 Suppl 2:S61-70. doi: 10.1517/14728222.2011.645807. Epub 2012 Mar 23.

Metastatic melanoma: the new era of targeted therapy.

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National Institute of Cancer, Medical Oncology Department, Via O. Flacco, 65, 70124 Bari, Italy.

Erratum in

  • Expert Opin Ther Targets. 2012 May;16(5):525. Pisconte, Salvatore [corrected to Pisconti, Salvatore].



Metastatic melanoma is one of the most resistant tumors to standard chemotherapy, with a median overall survival of 6 - 8 months. Previously approved drugs offer only marginal survival advantages. Advances in the understanding of melanoma biology and host immunity have recently opened the field to new therapeutic approaches. Thus, after many years of disappointing results, a new era in the treatment of melanoma is beginning.


This review discusses new advances in the treatment of metastatic melanoma. Current data regarding the new agents under clinical development are reviewed, including emerging data from recently completed clinical trials, as well as preliminary data from ongoing studies testing novel therapeutic strategies.


The new agents specifically targeted against melanoma are changing the standard of care for this disease. The monoclonal antibody ipilimumab is the first new agent approved for first- and second-line treatment of metastatic melanoma, based on improved overall survival compared -with standard therapy. Other drugs, such as BRAF inhibitors, have demonstrated high activity in the advanced disease and will be reaching clinical approval. Researchers are already planning ways to combine some of these new drugs in order to render possible a longer control of tumor.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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